Barcelona struggled for form, ending up in seventh place, with 15 out of 24 possible points. They also have a daunting task to qualify in their Champions League group, recording two losses and one win in three games, including a 3-0 shock. defeat against Benfica, third in Group E.
The departure of talisman Leo Messi and star French striker Antoine Griezmann saw Barca lack the vanguard they once possessed in attack. But the return of much-loved Ansu Fati from a long-term injury has allowed the Spain striker to impress, scoring two goals in three games, putting pen to paper on a new deal, which will greatly boost Barca's chances. to achieve success this season. Dutchman Depay has also had a decent start to life in Spain, scoring four goals and providing two assists in La Liga.
Real Madrid are doing a little better than their Catalan rivals, occupying second place with 17 points, three points behind shock leaders Real Sociedad with one game less. But a win for Barca will see them eclipse their bitter rivals, as Koeman's side are only two points behind Ancelotti's side.
In-form striker Karim Benzema will look to maintain his searing form, with the Ballon d'Or contender leading the goalscoring table with nine goals, helping his teammates seven times so far in the league. The Frenchman is facing a late fitness test, having taken a hit against Shakhtar in their clash at UCL. Vinicius Junior has also been impressive with five goals and two assists in eight appearances.
Both sides enter this game with Champions League wins, Barcelona claiming a vital 1-0 win over Dinamo Kyiv, while Madrid showed style against Shakhtar Donetsk in a 5-0 loss. against the Ukrainian team.
Los Blancos have dominated against Barcelona in recent times, winning their last three clashes, with the Catalan side's last victory being a 1-0 away win in 2019.
A Barcelona win will ease the pressure on the squad, players and board and could potentially propel Koeman's side to 2nd place in the table, while Madrid can overtake Sociedad from first place with a win over its bitter rivals.
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