Real Madrid will try to avoid an 11 point hole in the La Liga standings as they challenge Barcelona in the latest El Clasico Sunday at Camp Nou.
Already eight points behind Barcelona, Los Blancos are currently in sixth place in La Liga and have two losses against them after six matches.
Sunday’s match will be pivotal for the rest of Madrid’s season, and a loss could prove fatal to a team that is already struggling with internal strife. Forward Cristiano Ronaldo has had his share of public run-ins with club officials, and also had a reported falling out with defender Sergio Ramos and forward Mesut Ozil.
First place Barcelona have continued their winning ways this season, but are also coping with injuries to the back line.
The Catalans Carles Puyol suffered a gruesome elbow dislocation that could keep him out for up to six weeks, and defender Gerard Pique is working through a foot injury. Cameroon national Alex Song may have to step in for Pique, and Javier Mascherano could move back to shore up the back line in Puyol’s absence.
The match begins at 1:50 p.m. EDT and will be broadcast by beIN Sport and Sky Sports 1.
D Coentrao, Pepe, S. Ramos, Marcelo
M Khedira, X. Alonso, A. Di Maria, M. Ozil
F Benzema, C. Ronaldo
G V. Valdes
D Adriano, A. Song, Mascherano, D. Alves,
M Busquets, Fabregas, Xavi
F Messi, Sanchez
Prediction: Real desperately need this win to have any chance going forward this season, and Barcelona knows they can put away their stiffest competition in the league. Still the injuries to the Catalans back line will prove too much and Madrid should earn the victory.
Predicted score: Real Madrid 3, Barcelona 2