PREVIOUS MATCH IN THE LEAGUE
Real Madrid visited the Camp Nou to face off against FC Barcelona for Week 7 of La Liga in October of 2012. The match lived up to its billing as both teams displayed their own styles of football to near perfection. Real Madrid grabbed an early one-goal advantage thanks to a strike from Ronaldo before Messi fired twice to give Barça the lead - the Argentine’s second came from a spectacular free kick. Ronaldo brought Madrid level in the second half. The final 2-2 result allowed the Blaugrana to preserve their eight-point lead over Los Blancos at the top of the table.
Of Madrid’s last five games in the league, they’ve won four and lost one. The defeat came at the hands of Granada when Real Madrid visited Los Cármenes Stadium on Week 21 of the competition, the following weeks saw Los Blancos claim the three points against Sevilla (4-1), Rayo Vallecano (2-0), and Deportivo (1-2).
While Real Madrid’s hopes of retaining the Liga title have all but vanished, their chances of winning silverware this season haven’t. Madrid are Copa del Rey finalists after they eliminated Barça from the competition this week, and next week they travel to England to face Manchester United in the return leg of the Champions League round of 16. The away leg ended in a one-all draw.
ONES TO WATCH
The Madrid-based press claims that Real Madrid will field a very different team to the one we saw this Tuesday. However, a Clásico is a Clásico, and not sending out your strongest team might prove disastrous, especially as the 16-point gap Barça enjoy over Madrid hangs in the balance. With that said, Madrid will be without Ángel Di María (suspended) and Iker Casillas (injured). The Argentinian could be replaced by the Brazilian playmaker, Kaká. The ex-AC Milan player put in a brilliant performance (goal included) last week against Deportivo de la Coruña. If he gets the nod, he'll be very eager to leave his mark on the game as a good performance could earn him a regular spot in José Mourinho’s future starting line-ups.