Barcelona make the trip to the Bernabeu to face Real Madrid holding a two-point advantage at the top of the La Liga standings.
Los Blancos head into Sunday’s El Clasico having failed to win any of their last three games in all competitions, which includes a 2-1 defeat to Manchester City in the Champions League, while Lionel Messi had inspired La Blaugrana to a 5-0 win over Eibar at Camp Nou.
Real Madrid’s Marco Asensio and Eden Hazard are both injured and will play no part, while Toni Kroos could return from the bench in place of Federico Valverde but Brazilian winger Rodrygo will miss the game after he was comically sent off in a ‘B’ team game last weekend.
Barcelona full-backs Sergi Roberto and Jordi Alba are injured and will likely be replaced by Nelson Semedo and Junior Firpo, whie Gerard Pique could return from an ankle injury he picked up in midweek.
Luis Suarez is still sidelined meaning Martin Braithwaite could be a surprise Clasico starter, though Quique Setien is just as likely to go with Messi and Antoine Griezmann as his front two as he did against Napoli.
Head to Head
Barcelona head into the next staging of El Clasico having put together a seven-match unbeaten streak against their fierce rivals in La Liga.
Although Real recently had success against Barca in the Supercopa de Espana, prevailing in those matches at the start of the 2017-18 campaign represent their sole victories in recent games.
Real Madrid have not defeated Barcelona in a home La Liga fixture since a 3-1 win back in October 2014.
Real Madrid possible starting lineup: Courtois; Carvajal, Varane, Ramos, Mendy; Kroos, Casemiro, Valverde; Isco, Benzema, Bale.
Barcelona possible starting lineup: Ter Stegen; Semedo, Pique, Umtiti, Firpo; Arthur, Busquets, De Jong; Vidal, Messi, Griezmann.
Prediction: Real Madrid 1-2 Barcelona