Los Blancos are nine points behind their great rivals in the standings with only 13 matches remaining and a defeat would surely end their hopes.
Barca have already ended Madrid’s Copa del Rey dream this week, with their 3-0 win in the capital on Wednesday comprehensively eliminating their hosts, sending them out of the cup competition 4-1 on aggregate.
It would complete a highly satisfactory week for the Catalans if they were to win again, although defeat would blow open the championship race.
|Game||Real Madrid vs Barcelona|
|Date||Saturday, March 2|
|Time||7:45pm GMT / 2:45pm ET|
|Stream (US only)||fubo TV (7-day free trial)|
TV Channel, Live Stream & How To Watch
In the United States (US), the game can be watched live and on-demand with fuboTV (7-day free trial).
New users can sign up for a free seven-day trial of the live sports streaming service, which can be accessed via iOS, Android, Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV, Roku and Apple TV as well as on a web browser.
|US TV channel||Online stream|
|beIN Sports / beIN Sports en Espanol||fubo TV (7-day free trial)|
In the United Kingdom (UK), the game will be broadcast on Premier Sports 1 and streamed on Eleven Sports 1.
|UK TV channel||Online stream|
|Premier Sports 1||Eleven Sports 1|
In the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the game will be broadcast on beIN SPORTS HD 1, beIN SPORTS HD 3, beIN SPORTS HD 8, beIN SPORTS HD 11, beIN 4K Arabia. It can be streamed on beIN SPORTS CONNECT.
|UAE TV channel||Online stream|
|beIN SPORTS HD 1 / beIN SPORTS HD 3 / beIN SPORTS HD 8 / beIN SPORTS HD 11 / beIN 4K Arabia||beIN SPORTS CONNECT|
Squads & Team News
|Position||Real Madrid squad|
|Goalkeepers||Navas, Luca, Courtois|
|Defenders||Carvajal, Ramos, Nacho, Varane, Marcelo, Odriozoloa, Reguilon|
|Midfielders||Kroos, Modric, Casemiro, Valverde, Vazquez, Asensio, Ceballos, Isco|
|Forwards||Benzema, Bale, Vinicius Junior|
Real Madrid will be without the suspended Nacho for this encounter.
Marcos Llorente is out injured while Sergio Ramos has shaken off a knock to start in the heart of the defence.
Thibaut Courtois and Gareth Bale, who were substitutes in midweek, have been recalled into the starting XI.
Real Madrid starting XI: Courtois; Carvajal, Ramos, Varane, Reguilon; Modric, Casemiro, Kroos; Bale, Benzema, Vinicius
|Goalkeepers||Ter Stegen, Cillessen|
|Defenders||Pique, Semedo, Lenglet, Alba, Roberto, Umtiti, Murillo|
|Midfielders||Rakitic, Busquets, Coutinho, Arthur, Vidal, Alena|
|Forwards||L. Suarez, Dembele, Malcom, Messi|
Barcelona will have virtually a full squad available for Saturday’s Clasico. Thomas Vermaelen and Rafinha are absent with a calf and knee problem respectively.
Arthur has been recalled to the starting XI, with Nelson Semedo dropping to the bench.
Barcelona starting XI: Ter Stegen; Roberto, Pique, Lenglet, Alba; Rakitic, Busquets, Arthur; Messi, Suarez, Dembele
Betting & Match Odds
Real Madrid are priced at 7/4 to win this match at bet365 . Barcelona are 29/20 favourites, while the draw is available at 27/10.
Saturday’s Clasico clash against Barcelona is set to be decisive in Real Madrid’s La Liga campaign.
Defeat would leave them an apparently insurmountable 12 points adrift of the Catalans, but interim head coach Santi Solari is not envisaging such a scenario, despite suffering a thumping 3-0 loss to their great rivals on Wednesday.
“We’re back on our feet, wanting to pick up more points,” the Argentine said. “The fixture list and destiny wanted us to be up against the same opponents, again the big Clasico of Spanish football. We’re going into it with the same desire and the same spirit as in the previous match, trying to improve the things we must improve and to sustain the things we did well.”
The coach was questioned as to why the likes of Gareth Bale, Marcelo and Marco Asensio have not had decisive roles to play this season, but he rejected those claims.
“Bale has played every game since returning from injury and is scoring goals,” he argued.
“All are important, not only those who start the matches. Titles are earned with full squads.”
If the general belief is that Madrid will lose their chance of winning the Spanish crown with a defeat, Barca boss Ernesto Valverde is not of that opinion.
“The league is still to be won. It's not decided now and tomorrow's result will not decide the league either,” he said. “Of course, it's good for us if Real Madrid don't win but there are other teams involved in the title race.”
Indeed, he believes repeating Wednesday’s victory, in which Luis Suarez scored either side of a Raphael Varane own goal, will be a tall order.
"We have points to play for in this game, it's a different competition to Wednesday," Valverde told a news conference. "It's very difficult, as I said the other day, for the same result to occur in the same game twice in a row but we would obviously like that to happen.
"We're going there to search for a win that would be a big blow for them and a big boost to ourselves, but we know how difficult it is. Despite the result the other day, we found it very difficult.
“They were creating dangerous chances against us and we created very little bar some isolated attacks, not enough and there was something missing from our football. So yes, we need to improve, create more goalscoring chances, as we didn't have that the other day.”