LA LIGA 2018/19:
Barcelona and Real Madrid go head to head and it is arguably the biggest and most anticipated game in club football on the planet.
The Catalan club are at the top La Liga despite going four league matches without a win before last Saturday, while Real Madrid manager Julen Lopetegui is under pressure with his side in seventh place.
This is Julen Lopetegui’s first Clasico as Real Madrid coach, and if he loses, it will probably be his last. Sergio Ramos wants to save Lopetegui’s job, he is the one who recommended him to the club after all. However, it can be hard to lead the team from the back.
Barcelona would be seven points clear of Madrid leaving their rivals floundering in mid-table and probably looking for a new coach, while Real Madrid would close the gap to one point and Lopetegui would get some deserved breathing space to start building his Real Madrid.
Who will win? This is the big question
An ill-tempered draw would not surprise. A draw because Messi’s absence brings Barca’s level down to a below-par Madrid’s and ill-tempered because there is so much at stake for Madrid. Last season Sergi Roberto and Dani Carvajal were somewhat unlikely sending is off. This season it could be the usual suspects getting involved. Ramos, Suarez, Arturo Vidal if he plays a part.