If last weekend was the weekend to watch the Premier League, this weekend is the reason to watch La Liga for one game and one game only: El Clasico.
The most previous meeting between the two sides earlier in the season saw Luis Suarez just return from a ban imposed by FIFA for his bite in the World Cup and Real run out dominant 3-1 winners and begin their long run at the top of the table. Real would go on to set the Spanish record for consecutive wins across all competitions, culminating in their Club World Cup triumph.
My, what a difference a few months make. Real boss Carlo Ancelotti is under increasing pressure as Real slip up on almost every front. What arguably started at their loss and elimination from the Copa del Rey at the hands of Atletico Madrid has snowballed since then. Bar his two goals against Levante in last weekend’s win, Gareth Bale was wildly out of form and at the centre of a beating from Spanish press. Real also went on to drop 2 games in the league and barely squeak into the Champions League quarterfinals, dropping the second leg 3-4 in the process to a mid-table Bundesliga Schalke (their 2-0 first leg win proving the difference).
In the meantime Barcelona are finally starting to click. A Copa del Rey Final calls for them after they blew Valencia away in the competition and they also own a commanding 2-1 aggregate lead going into their 2nd leg of their Champions League tie at home to Manchester City, a side newly beaten by 19th place Burnley.
What this means is that the El Clasico this weekend will have the feeling of all to play for, and certainly with the two teams in opposite form it could prove to be true. The one point gap between the two sides at the top coming into the fixture is certainly subject to change.