It’s always a big occasion when these two clubs lock horns, especially when it’s a cup final. Historically this fixture has arguably provided football fans with more exhilaration than any other match in Spain and the game between the two sides always lives up to the expectations.
Real Madrid and Barcelona have already met twice this season and on both occasions the match has ended in favour of the Catalans. However things might turn out to be different this time around with Barcelona on a disappointing run which has seen them loose both of their last two matches.
Unlike ahead of the first Clasico of the year 2014, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are not in top form. Leo has gone missing lately while CR7 is out injured. So which players will leave a mark on the game?
Two stars under pressure to perform are Neymar and Gareth Bale. Both completely rocked the 2013 summer transfer window and are expected to justify their astronomical price tags. Indeed, the stage has been set for Neymar and Bale to strengthen their rivalry and overshadow, at least for a day, the mouth-watering Messi-Ronaldo clash which cannot take place in the 2014 Copa del Rey final.
Preview: Forgetting the negative news surrounding the club is key for Barcelona
The La Liga campaign is coming to an end, but things just do not get any easier for the Blaugrana. After their injury blow to Victor Valdes, the Catalans are now facing a transfer suspension from FIFA.
On top of a possible suspension, Barcelona drew mid-week at home against Atletico Madrid, in the first leg of the Champions League quarterfinals. A wonder goal from Diego put the visitors ahead, but Neymar slotted a ball past the Atletico goalkeeper, but that was all the hosts could do.
FC Barcelona’s 2013/14 pre-season campaign was tarnished with tax fraud allegations against Lionel Messi. As if it wasn’t enough, the mighty Spanish club was then accused of transfer fraud concerning Neymar’s move away from Santos. The intensity of this transfer issue led to the resignation of Sandro Rosell as club president in January.
Problems continue to hurt Barca under new president Bartomeu. On Wednesday, the Catalans were slapped with a two-transfer window ban for “illegal buying and selling of players under 18” according to FIFA.
However, Barcelona vice president Javier Faus is certain that “enemies” are behind all the controversies to fall down the club.
Speaking to the Spanish press on Thursday, Faus boldly declared:
Preview: Barcelona will want to avoid a let down after their important El Clasico victory
An emotional rollercoaster at the Santiago Bernabeu on Sunday ended well for Barcelona. Three goals from Messi helped lift the Catalans over Real Madrid, and they will now have a chance to go top of the league, given Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid's late kick-off.
Luis Enrique, a former Barcelona captain, will prepare his side for a very difficult match at the Camp Nou. Enrique has been linked with the managerial position at Barcelona, but the Catalans opted to go with Gerardo Martino. And despite all the doubt involving the Argentine's future at the club, Barcelona's president as well as Martino have stated publicly that his contract will be honored.
Enjoy the broadcast of Real Madrid vs Barcelona in live streaming on your mobile, computer, or TV with beIN Sports. LiveSoccerTV has an exclusive list of compiled live listings from Canada, UK, USA and the world.
Over 140 zones have been covered so whether you are located in Europe, Asia, Africa, South America or elsewhere, you may be able to find where to stream the game live this Sunday. Simply visit El Clasico’s match page for full details.
The previous meeting ended 2-1 in favour of Barca. Messi and Ronaldo’s presence was overshadowed by Neymar’s dream debut in El Clasico and Alexis Sanchez’s wonderful long-range strike.
Preview: Camp Nou to witness a battle of wounded warriors
On Tuesday night in Munich, Arsenal became the first English team to crash out of the 2013/14 UEFA Champions League. Manchester City are on the brink of an exit as well. They will need a miracle at the Camp Nou but how possible will it be, knowing that they carry the wound of their shocking loss 2-1 to Wigan Athletic in the FA Cup?
The two protagonists ahead of Wednesday’s showdown are Lionel Messi and Sergio Aguero. Either of the two Argentines may decide the game. Between them, there have been eight goals. Aguero had to miss the first leg as he was recovering from injury. His return in the UEFA Champions League has been greeted with much talk.
Preview: Barcelona have not won at the Estadio Anoeta since 2007
Tata Martino's squad responded well to critics and doubters on Tuesday, when they defeat Manchester City at the Etihad. They will now have to turn their attention to La Liga, where they will be trying to break a streak of winless matches.
Saturday's meeting between these two clubs will be the fourth time they have gone head-to-head this season. This La Liga match will also be the Catalan's second visit to Basque Country in 10 days.
Their last meeting on February 12th ended in a one goal draw, but the Blaugrana already had a 2-0 aggregate lead. Messi gave the visitors the lead in the first half, but a goal from Griezmann in the 87th minute gave Sociedad something to smile about.
Preview: Neymar returns after his injury against Getafe
All the attention around Barcelona has been focused on their upcoming Champions League match. While a meeting with Manchester City promises to be an entertaining affair, the Catalans will first need to get by a Rayo Vallecano side that are in the relegation zone.
Tata Martino’s side jumped back into the top spot of the league standings, taking advantage of a slip-up from Atletico Madrid.
Saturday’s match will mark the return of Brazilian star Neymar, who has been out with an ankle injury since January 16th. But despite his return, he is likely to only see some minutes in the second half.
Preview: Barcelona with a chance to put pressure on their rivals
Saturday's afternoon meeting between Barcelona and Valencia will give the Catalans a chance to pull three points ahead of Atletico Madrid. The bad piece of news for Los Che is that they have lost their last six visits to Camp Nou.
With only two goals in six matches when visiting the Catalans, Juan Antonio Pizzi's men are going to have to put together a very good performance.
Barcelona come into the match on great form, having won three straight, after their one goal draw away to Levante. Tata Martino's men followed that draw up with a 4-1 victory over that same Levante in the Copa del Rey, and finished them off mid-week at Camp Nou with a 5-1 drubbing.
Preview: Barcelona begin life without Sandro Rosell
A week that has brought a lot of media attention to the Camp Nou, now has Barcelona second in La Liga. After failing to grab three points in their last match, the Catalans now trail Real Madrid by two points, but could reclaim the top spot with a victory on Sunday.
The hosts will also start a new chapter, after Sandro Rosell stepped down from the club's presidency.
Controversy involving Neymar's transfer to the La Liga said turned into a lawsuit against Rosell, which eventually forced him to leave the club. Having won a number of titles during his tenure with the Blaugrana, the Spanish giants will now hope they can continue their success. Winning on Sunday would be a start.
Preview: Tata Martino wants to avoid any surprises
Barcelona take a comfortable lead with them into the second leg match against Getafe, but Tata Martino is not convinced that the hosts have given up. In 2007, the won 5-2 in the first leg, only to allow Getafe to win 4-0 in the return leg, eventually eliminating the Blaugrana.
"We have never hidden behind the result of a previous match," Martino told the club's official website. "We will play as if the result was at 0-0."
Getafe will be up against a very difficult task. Not only will they need to overturn a four goal deficit, but their current run of form will not give them any added motivation.
Ronaldo, Messi or Ribery?
Millions of football fans worldwide, as well as a host of football personalities, had circled the 13 January 2014 date on their calendar. On the net, forums have cracked with fierce debates between fans. Now those debates will predictably continue – perhaps with even more pressure – after the ceremony.
However, moments before the name of the winner is announced on Monday night, silence and anxiety will surely prevail. Will Lionel Messi’s four-year rule come to an end? Will the football world reward silverware influence above individual performance by giving the prize to Ribery? Or will La Pulga add more lines to history with a fifth Ballon d’Or and leave Ronaldo waiting for his time to come again?
Preview: Messi's return will steal all the headlines
Lionel Messi's return has been long awaited by Barcelona's fans, and they could likely see his return on Wednesday. A Copa del Rey fixture at home would be a perfect opportunity for the Argentine to get some competitive minutes under his belt, just before a very important La Liga match at the weekend against Atletico Madrid.
But before the Catalans can worry about Atletico, they will need to get by a Getafe squad that they defeated 5-2 on December 22.
Tata Martino's squad were down 2-0 after 14 minutes in that match, but luckily a hat-trick from Pedro, and a brace from Cesc Fabregas helped Barcelona earn three points.
Preview: Blaugrana look to continue their form with Valdes back in the squad
Victor Valdes is set to leave Barcelona in the summer, but until then, the Spanish goalkeeper is a key figure at Barcelona. A calf injury has kept him out for quite sometime, but Jose Manuel Pinto did a decent job in his absence.
His return will be a boost to the whole squad, who look to open the new year with a victory. Failure to do so would leave Atletico Madrid top of the table, with both sides set to meet in their next La Liga fixture.
Heading into the Vicente Calderon in first place will be what Tata Martino will want, as well as the Catalan players.
La Liga may host what undisputedly are two of the world’s best players, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, but one common remark one may hear about the Spanish league is its predictability.
It offers as good a chance of predicting who’ll win the title come May as easily as one can figure whether a Republican or Democrat will win the next United States presidential election.
“You have a 50-50 chance of picking La Liga’s winner”, is a common jest made on many football forums and inside pubs all around the world.
Indeed, such is Barcelona and Real Madrid’s dominance over the past few decades that it really has become a two-horse race, where the Blaugrana and Los Blancos are way ahead of everyone else, who’s left to fight for the scraps for third place and beyond.
Preview: Injuries could play a big part in this match for the hosts
A number of injury concerns will have Tata Martino somewhat worried heading into Saturday's match against Granada. With eight players in doubt, at least four of them will definitely miss this match.
Lionel Messi is obviously the big name on that injury list, which is also made up of Jordi Alba, Dani Alves and most recently Victor Valdes. Along with those four top players, Martino could be without Cesc Fabregas, Gerard Pique, Xavi and Cristian Tello, who are all in doubt, but have yet to be ruled out for this weekend's match.
Having so many injuries could be problematic, but fortunately Barcelona has good enough talent on their bench who can fill in.
Lately, a certain Portuguese attacker's name comes to everyone's lips—with his rampant displays for club and country. Cristiano Ronaldo, that is. His perfectly executed hat-trick against the Blågult in Sweden on November 19, which followed his match winner in the first leg of this World Cup Qualifying Playoff tie, has got people touting Cristiano Ronaldo again for the 2013 FIFA Ballon d'Or to be awarded in January.
But what about Lionel Messi, the reigning holder of this prize? Last season wasn’t his best by his lofty standards, with some as far as calling it a disappointment. Indeed, his individual achievements in 2011-2012 were outrageous and therefore hard to equal for any player, including Messi himself.
Preview: World Cup qualification achieved; now it's time to experiment
Ecuador will take on Alejandro Sabella's squad in a friendly match that will likely get a lot of attention in on the east coast in the USA. With both countries having already guaranteed their place in next year's World Cup, both managers will have a chance to test out some new options.
Argentina will first take on Ecuador, and they will then take on Bosnia-Herzegovina. That will give the Albiceleste a chance to see some of their options, but they will be without Lionel Messi for both.
It’s often said that criticism is the best motivator. In the case of Cristiano Ronaldo, it seems to have spurred him on to new heights that many had not even thought possible, despite his reputation as arguably one of the world’s finest footballers playing today.
The Portuguese attacker has scored 24 goals so far in all competitions and will certainly break the Champions League group stage record of eight goals set by trio Ruud van Nistelrooy, Filippo Ingazhi, and Hernan Crespo. As a result, he’s passed perennial rival Lionel Messi’s previously established haul of 13 European strikes in a calendar year.
Given that he’s scored in every single Champions League game so far this season, it’s probably certain that he’ll add more to that tally before the group stages conclude in December.