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Can Madrid Catch Barca?
Barcelona are currently nine points clear of Real Madrid at the summit of La Liga and it’ll take a significant collapse for Xavi’s side not to win the league title now.
Stranger things have happened, of course, and the season is far from over yet. If Madrid are serious about winning the league title in May, they’ll need to beat their archrivals and cut the gap to a much-more manageable six points.
Negreira Case Looms
This El Clasico will take place against the backdrop of the tense ‘Negreira case’, a scandal involving Barcelona’s alleged corruption practices and supposedly-unfair administration procedures. The club has not been found guilty of anything as of yet, but the noise created by the discussion will surely be heard during the game.
Pedri Could Return
Renowned Barca midfielder Pedri could return from a thigh injury to play against Real - though Xavi will assess the 20-year-old first and there’s a strong possibility that the youngster, if deemed fit, will start on the bench.
Pedri is an integral part of the Barcelona midfield, even though his absence hasn’t altered the club’s league position whatsoever.
Robert Lewandowski, the league’s top scorer this season, is due to return against Real Madrid.
Will Benzema Rediscover Form?
Karim Benzema scored in Real’s victory over Liverpool earlier this week, but his league form has severely dropped-off over the last few months. In fact, the Frenchman hasn’t scored in open-play league goal since January and he’s suffered through niggling injuries all season.
The quality of Benzema’s play hasn’t dropped, but his goal record this season isn’t nearly as impressive as it was last season.
The Ballon d’Or winner suffered a slight knock against Liverpool, but Carlo Ancelotti remains confident his star man will feature against Barcelona this weekend.
Barcelona vs Real Madrid will take place at the Camp Nou on Sunday 19 March, with the kick-off being at 8pm GMT.
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