Real Madrid attacker Angel Di Maria has admitted that he would prefer to miss next weekend's La Liga game against Malaga as he fears risking a possible suspension which would keep him out of the clash with Barcelona.
The Argentina international is one booking away from a one-game ban after picking up his fourth yellow card of the season in Sunday's 3-0 win over Levante and he fears his passionate style of play could land him in trouble ahead of the Clasico.
"I don't know, it's difficult to choose, but I would prefer not to play," Di Maria was quoted as saying by AS.
"I always give it everything and I prefer not to risk it.
"The handball [against Levante] wasn't on purpose, but those are decisions the referees make. If I have to play in Malaga I'll be a bit inhibited."
Real Madrid currently sit atop of the Liga table with a three-point lead over second-placed Atletico, while Barcelona are four points off the pace following their defeat to Valladolid.