New Delhi: The biggest match in world football will take place this weekend in a La Liga match. Here's everything you need to know about the match, which will have both Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo featuring, against each other.
Teams: Barcelona vs Real Madrid
Date: Saturday, December 3
Time: 20.45pm IST
Venue: Camp Nou in Barcelona
TV Listing: Sony Six/Sony Six HD
Online Streaming: Sonyliv
For Indian fans, there will be special live screenings at New Delhi's Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium and Mumbai's Khar Gymkhana, with Luis Garcia (New Delhi) and Frederic Kanoute (Mumbai) in attendance.
How big is this match: No rivalry is bigger than this fixture, at least in club football. That's why it's the classic. Both the clubs, adorned by some of the world's best players – not to mention Messi and Ronaldo — command unrivalled fan bases around the world. The average El Clasico attendance is 90,154, and the global TV viewership is likely to exceed the 400 million mark again.
Head to head: This will be their 231st meeting in all competitions, with the Catalans winning 109 times against Madrid's 93. But when it comes to competitive matches, Madrid hold the edge with 93 wins as against Barca's 90. Madrid won 2-1 in their last meeting, a La Liga match, on April 2, 2016.
Preview and team predictions: The reigning La Liga champions are not six points behind Madrid after a disappointing 1-1 draw with Real Sociedad on Sunday.
A win is a must for the home side to keep apace with the leaders.
Both the teams have proven goal-keepers, but Barca stopper ter Stegen tends to overcook things. In contrast, Navas is a cool customer.
In defence, Barca will once again rely heavily on Gerard Pique and Javier Mascherano with Jordi Alba uncertain of a start. Sergi Roberto is likely to get a start even as an unfit Samuel Umtiti is rumoured to be fighting for an early return.
For Madrid, the defensive unit a settled one. Dani Carvajal, Sergio Ramos and Marcelo being the sure starters, and Pepe beating Raphael Varane to the XI.
Up ahead, Andres Iniesta will return and he will have the company of Ivan Rakitic and Sergio Busquets. If the skipper fails to turn up, don't surprise to see Denis Suarez in the centre.
Luka Modric and Mateo Kovacic are sure to start, but uncertainty still looms large for the inclusion of James Rodriguez.
As expected Neymar, Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez will lead Barca attack against their eternal rivals. For it be down Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema, and Lucas Vazquez in for injured Gareth Bale.
Possible starting XIs:
Barcelona: Marc-Andre ter Stegen, Gerard Pique, Javier Mascherano, Jordi Alba, Sergi Roberto, Ivan Rakitic, Sergio Busquets, Andres Iniesta, Luis Suarez, Lionel Messi, Neymar
Head Coach: Luis Enrique
Real Madrid: Keylor Navas, Sergio Ramos, Pepe, Marcello, Dani Carvajal, Luka Modric, James Rodriguez, Mateo Kovacic, Lucas Vazquez, Cristiano Ronaldo, Karim Benzema
Head Coach: Zinedine Zidane