When and Where: The La Liga match gets underway from Camp Nou at 2 p.m. ET on Saturday. A live stream of the game can be viewed via ESPN3. Live TV coverage will be provided by Gol TV.
Preview: it is becoming an annual tradition, the end of the season El Clasicos upon which so much of the silverware in Spanish and European soccer depends. Last season there were four in 18 days that decided the fate of La Liga, the Copa del Rey, and which side would make the Champions League final.
When the two sides clash once more at the Camp Nou on Saturday, the destiny of the La Liga title will be resting heavily on the game's outcome.
Real Madrid has seen their once commanding 10-point lead cut to a nervous four. And with Barcelona on a run of 11-straight league wins they will feel that the momentum is in their favor to blow the title race wide open with a victory.
Yet Pep Guardiola's men will have to overcome both the disappointment and the limited recovery time from taking a 1-0 deficit from their Champions League semi-final first-leg with Chelsea on Wednesday.
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But Barcelona is not alone in recording a surprise midweek defeat. Real Madrid also went down in the first-leg of their semi-final, 2-1 to Bayern Munich. But with a day's less recovery time and 24 hours fewer to prepare for their second-leg, it is Barcelona that will face the greater temptation to inject fresh legs into their lineup for El Clasico.
In terms of recent meetings between the sides, all signs point toward Barcelona. In the 10 games played between the two since Jose Mourinho took charge at the Bernabeu in 2012, Real have won just once and that after extra time.
Team News: Alexis Sanchez is a doubt for Barcelona after picking up a knock against Chelsea. With Guardiola unlikely to want to risk the Chilean with important games to come, Pedro is likely to come into the side.
In defense, Gerard Pique should return at center-back with Carlos Puyol switching over to left-back and Adriano dropping to the bench.
For Real, though Fabio Coentrao is generally seen by Mourinho as a better defensive option at left-back in the big games, Marcelo could well start on Saturday. Coentrao endured a difficult game against Bayern, including being at fault for Bayern's late second goal.
With a draw sure to be more than acceptable to Real, it is probable that Mourinho will sacrifice one of Angel Di Maria or Mesut Ozil for an extra central midfielder, likely to be Esteban Granero.
Barcelona: Valdes, Alves, Mascherano, Pique, Puyol; Busquets, Xavi, Iniesta; Fabregas, Pedro, Messi
Real Madrid: Casillas, Arbeloa, Ramos, Pepe, Marcelo; Khedira, Alonso, Granero; Ozil, Ronaldo, Benzema
Prediction: Real has been scoring goals for fun in La Liga this season, yet there is still the feeling that Barcelona has their number when the two giants collide in a one-on-one matchup. With Barcelona also surely frustrated by their inability to convert chances against Chelsea, they are unlikely to make the same mistake again against Real.
Barcelona 3-1 Real Madrid