The Clasico between Real Madrid and Barcelona is always an eagerly anticipated game, but this one could be even more tasty than usual for a few reasons.
Firstly there’s the political situation that forced the original fixture to be re-arranged earlier in the year as protests swept through Catalonia. The authorities might have hoped that the time that’s passed will have helped to calm that anger down, but that seems unlikely.
Then there’s the current state of the two clubs. Both sit equal on points at the top of La Liga, and results have definitely improved recently after a poor start, but both teams still look fragile and miles away from some of the great teams we’ve seen recently.
It might be a bit much to say anybody’s job is on the line, but if there’s a heavy defeat on Wednesday then you wouldn’t put it past either club.
Real Madrid tend to struggle in Barcelona so Zinedine Zidane would obviously want all his big names to be available, but a report from Mundo Deportivo has indicated that there are some key injuries for this one.
The main one is Eden Hazard who has started to take on the creative talisman role in the team, while James Rodriguez, Marcelo and Lucas Vasquez are also expected to miss the game.
Marcelo and Vasquez have been favourites for Zidane for a while now, but the Brazilian is starting to look vulnerable against pace so this could actually be a blessing for this one.
Usually the squads are confirmed the day before, so it will be interesting to see if any of those players make a miraculous recovery or if anybody joins them in missing the game.