Neymar is suspended for Barcelona while Gareth Bale could be set to be on the sidelines for Real Madrid as the Bernabeu plays hosts to the El Clasico on Sunday.
Real Madrid are currently leading the pack in La Liga Santander, with a game in hand as well as a 3 point advantage over their opponents on Sunday, Barcelona, who have managed to crawl their way back in to the title race after some rather disappointing outings.
Santiago Bernabeu is the destination for all football lovers on Sunday, as the latest bout of El Clasico might just be what decides the title race this season. Anything but a win for Barcelona will solidify Real Madrid’s placing atop the table and a win is imperative for Luis Enrique – who has urged his side to treat the fixture as a final.
Enrique said to the press ahead of the tie,“It is a final for us. It is an extra motivation to be able to catch up with Real Madrid. It is a decisive game with the competition nearing its end, it could almost end the league or leave the door open.”
— B/R Football (@brfootball) April 23, 2017
Enrique, though, will not have the services of Neymar at his disposal with the Brazilian suspended, after Barcelona failed in their appeal against the additional two-game ban. Jeremy Mathieu missed training on Saturday through injury and is set to miss the tie as well.
While Neymar is absent for Barcelona, Real Madrid could very well have to cope without Gareth Bale on Sunday, with Zinedine Zidane placed doubts on the ability of the Welshman playing a part in the game. However, the Frenchman did confirm that the player is set to travel with the squad.
“He’ll be with us tomorrow and we’ll have to wait and see whether or not he plays.”
Cristiano Ronaldo is in blistering form, with the latest hat-trick coming in the demolition of Bayern Munich in extra-time – a two-legged tie that saw Ronaldo score five goals in total. The Portuguese will be tasked with the responsibility on the last third of the pitch and Zidane would expect the superstar to continue pumping in goals.
As far as Barcelona are concerned, they would be eager to put their Juventus woes behind them and would be determined to get back to their scoring and hopefully, winning ways on Sunday.