El Clasico preview: Real Madrid must beat Barcelona to "open" again Liga

The world champions have already beaten Barça in the Spanish Super Cup in August.

El Clasico preview: Real Madrid must beat Barcelona to "open" again Liga

One of the most awaited moments by Spanish football fans is definitely "El Clasico" and this time Real Madrid absolutely must beat Barcelona. Cristiano Ronaldo & Co. go into this game 11 points behind a side they beat by four goals at the start of the season. Maybe they can't repeat that performance but they can win for themselves and for the big show of Liga. Real Madrid have spent the last week or so at the Club World Cup, with victories against Al Jazira and Gremio bound to have boosted their confidence levels, furthermore Los Blancos have won their last five home games in La Liga, keeping four clean sheets during that time. Sevilla were recently demolished 5-0 at the Santiago Bernabeu and Zidane's men have recaptured their mojo a little.

Real Madrid will also have to break Barcelona's season record. Blaugrana are still protecting an unbeaten record at the summit of La Liga and haven't lost a league game since a 2-0 loss at Malaga back in April. Taking a look at the teams, Zinedine Zidane doesn't have any fresh injury concerns heading into this game, with Raphael Varane back fit at centre-back. Then, Casemiro and Sergio Ramos return after suspension, with Isco and Gareth Bale battling to start in behind the front two. An other good new is that Cristiano Ronaldo will be fit to start after training away from the group briefly this week, with Los Blancos not altering their formula much at all.

Ernesto Valverde could choose Thomas Vermaelen at centre-back for Barcelona. The Belgian has looked solid recently. Andres Iniesta was excellent against Deportivo last time out, and will start once again in midfield for squad. Midfielder said: "I hope this isn't my last 'Clasico'". On the defensive line Sergi Roberto should be preferred to Nelson Semedo at right-back, while Paulinho should play in close support of the front two, Messi and Suarez.



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