Barcelona vs Real Madrid: Match Preview, line-ups and predictionMay 6, 2018
The final El Clasico of the season comes with several extra parts to its meaning than the normal tense fixture and bragging rights that would be claimed by the win.
Nou Camp / 19:45 GMT / 6th May 2018
When Barcelona host Real Madrid, it will be the final time that Andres Iniesta faces their arch-rivals, as he brings his 22-year career at the Catalan side this summer.
The other storyline that comes with this El Clasico is the Los Blancos’ refusal to give the newly-crowned La Liga champions a guard of honour, citing that Barca did not do the same for them following their Club World Cup success earlier in the season.
There will be no celebratory party for Barcelona just yet, despite their bus parade at the start of the week, as they will still want to maintain their unbeaten domestic record that currently stands at 42 matches.
Form and injuries
The Catalans go into the game following a Messi-inspired 4-2 win over Deportivo La Coruna that secured the La Liga title, having hammered Sevilla 5-0 the week before for the Copa del Rey trophy.
Despite being 15 points from Sunday’s opponents, Real Madrid will be in high spirits after securing their place in a third consecutive Champions League final on Tuesday.
But Los Blancos will be significantly weakened for the trip to the Nou Camp, with defenders Dani Carvajal and Raphaël Varane still sidelined, while Isco is doubt for the match.
Barcelona manager Ernesto Valverde will have a largely full-strength squad to choose from, with only youngster Sergi Samper and José Arnáiz absent.
Predicted Starting XI’s
Barcelona (4-4-2): Ter Stegen; S. Roberto, Piqué, Umtiti, Alba; Coutinho, Rakitic, Busquets, Iniesta; Messi, Suárez.
Real Madrid (4-4-2): Keylor Navas; Lucas, Nacho, Ramos, Marcelo; Casemiro, Modric, Kroos, Asensio; Benzema, Ronaldo.
At the start of the season, Barcelona were clearly the better side, but now the Catalans have remained consistent without being spectacular, while Real Madrid have pushed hard since the turn of the year. Nothing between them.
Barcelona 2-2 Real Madrid