Real Madrid vs Barcelona 23/12/2017
For Real Madrid, it is an absolute must-win in this latest edition of El Clasico as they try to cling onto their fast fading title hopes. The champions are trailing their timeless rivals by a whopping 11 points, and that gap will shoot up to 14 should they fail to get one over Barcelona.
Bad news comes in the form of the resurgent Luis Suarez. In the past month, the Uruguayan has rediscovered his scoring boots, scoring six goals since matchday 12. He only had three strikes in the first 12 games of the season.
Meanwhile, Gareth Bale is also eager to show that he deserves a spot in Zinedine Zidane’s starting line-up. Thigh and calf injuries have restricted Bale to just five league appearances so far this season, while his total number of injuries since moving to Madrid has risen to 24.
Barcelona are still unbeaten and will be looking for a repeat of their dramatic 3-2 win over Real when they last met at the Santiago Bernabéu in La Liga. Apart from long-term absentees Ousmane Dembélé and Samuel Umtiti, they are at full strength.
Real Madrid has not kept a clean sheet against Barca in the league since October 2006 and are looking to pick up their first El Clasico win since October 2014.