Real Madrid will host Barcelona in one of the most high-profile El Clasicos of recent times.
The stakes are higher this time than they've been over several years as two of football's greatest rivals, Real Madrid and Barcelona, lock horns in El Clasico on Sunday. After it looked like Atletico Madrid were running away with the title, Real Madrid and Barcelona have clawed their way back into the title race.
The Rojiblancos have slipped up and it has coincided with both Los Blancos and the Catalans hitting a green patch in terms of form. As a result, Real Madrid are now just three points behind Atletico Madrid. Barcelona are second in the table with 65 points and are just a point shy of Atletico Madrid.
Whichever team comes out on top in this edition of El Clasico will have greatly boosted their chances of winning the title at the end of the season. Without further ado, let's take a look at five reasons why Barcelona will win against Real Madrid this weekend.
#5 Barcelona have better squad depth compared to Real Madrid
Both Real Madrid and Barcelona have injury concerns. But Real Madrid have more pressing concerns as their entire backline has had to be overhauled. Eden Hazard is a doubt for the game, as is Dani Carvajal, while Sergio Ramos and Raphael Varane have been ruled out.
Real Madrid's bench looks rather weak as opposed to Barcelona's. Los Blancos' bench is populated by youngsters who have not had much experience at the highest level and players who have been so out of form that the team has suffered when they've been handed minutes.
If Real Madrid are forced to substitute one of their defenders or forwards during the game, they are almost certain to struggle. The same cannot be said of Barcelona. This also allows for more flexibility and better in-game management opportunities for Barcelona.
#4 Barcelona yet to lose a league game in 2021
After taking a while to hit their stride under new manager Ronald Koeman, Barcelona seem to have settled down quite well now. The Catalans have fought their way back into the La Liga title race by performing at the highest levels consistently since the turn of the year.
Barcelona are yet to lose a league game in 2021 and save for their last game against Real Valladolid, which they won 1-0, they have been in good goalscoring form too. They beat Real Sociedad 6-1, Huesca 4-1, Sevilla 3-0, Elche 3-0 and Alaves 5-1 in recent weeks.
This is a team that is now comfortable squeezing out positive results on a weekly basis and could prove to be a tough challenge for Real Madrid.