Madrid about to dominate El ClasicoGetty

Is El Clasico about to become very one-sided? Kylian Mbappe's Real Madrid arrival threatens to blow broke Barcelona away in Spain's biggest rivalry

After Real Madrid's penalty shootout win over Manchester City in the Champions League quarter-finals on Wednesday night, Jude Bellingham offered an honest assessment of the situation. "Moments like this are magic and it just comes down to mentality. When you get those details right and you get those little moments, like the penalties, when the lads keep their cool, it is magic. This was beautiful," the English midfielder said, before running to the Madrid support in jubilation.

This wasn't a signature Madrid performance. Los Blancos barely had the ball, and for long stretches were hanging on by a thread. There was genuine relief on the face of Carlo Ancelotti when the referee blew the final whistle to send the contest to penalties. But once there, the Madrid win felt inevitable. Luka Modric's improbable miss notwithstanding, there was a predetermined nature to the whole thing. Madrid, as a rule, do not lose these games.

It's a fact that Barcelona are all-too wary of. The two sides have met in El Clasico twice this season, the capital club winning both games. And on Sunday, the third has a real ominous quality for those in Catalunya. This is the last iteration of this Madrid they will face, with a number of marquee signings poised to make an already very good team even better. The Blaugrana, for all of their quality and pedigree, could be facing the start of a miserable run in Europe's biggest derby.

Article continues below