It is the biggest game of the season—El Clasico—as Real Madrid take on Barcelona on Sunday at the Camp Nou.
Barcelona have already clinched the title but Real will be desperate to prevent their bitter rivals from completing an unbeaten league season.
Zinedine Zidane’s main priority will be to lift the Champions League for the third successive year but he is expected to deploy a full-strength side in a bid to earn the bragging rights over the weekend.
Probable Real Madrid XI
Manager: Zinedine Zidane
Keylor Navas (GK)
Navas has been a permanent fixture in the Real Madrid team and after a fantastic game midweek against Bayern Munich, he will be confident to put in another commanding display in goal on Sunday.
Achraf Hakimi (RB)
Lucas Vazquez started in midweek at right-back and was skinned by Frank Ribery throughout the game. Taking lessons from the Bayern game, Zidane should hand academy starlet Achraf Hakimi a start.
Raphael Varane (CB)
The France international has been slightly inconsistent this season and needs to be at the top of his game to contain the Barcelona attackers.
Sergio Ramos (CB)
Partnering Varane at heart of the defence will be Ramos. One of the world’s best defenders, Ramos will need to maintain his cool and remain composed against Barcelona. He has a history of getting sent-off against the Catalan club and needs to avoid it this time around.
Marcelo will be responsible for keeping the pacey Ousmane Dembele quiet on the right wing.
Casemiro has been a regular starter for Real since a couple of seasons. His ability to screen the defence and pop up with odd goals makes him an important player to Zidane.
Toni Kroos (CM)
The German is one of the best midfielders in the league. His passing and crossing abilities are sublime and the game against Barcelona would be perfect to showcase his talent once again. A definite starter against Barcelona.
Luka Modric (LW)
Modric’s influence has slightly reduced this season but there’s no doubting his quality in terms of link-up play. He will need to be at his best as Real eye bragging rights.
Gareth Bale (RW)
Bale has endured an injury-hit campaign which has hindered his progress and form. Despite attaining full fitness, Zidane has used him sporadically, dropping him often during big games. However, the manager is expected to hand Bale a chance against Barcelona and the Welshman needs to take it with both hands.
Karim Benzema (ST)
Benzema has been lacklustre throughout this season but scored twice on Tuesday against Bayern to steer Real to the Champions League final. Zidane has continuously shown faith in Benzema and the striker delivered on the big night. Deserves to start in the El Clasico.
Cristiano Ronaldo (ST)
Real Madrid’s biggest asset, Ronaldo is in sublime form and will be looking to continue his good form against Barcelona. He will be the major threat to the hosts’ as Real look to end Barcelona’s unbeaten run on Sunday.