El Clasico bragging rights are important, and the table says that head-to-head is Barcelona’s only chance to flex on Real Madrid during a wayward season at the Camp Nou.
Barcelona heads to the Bernabeu on Sunday for a 4pm ET kickoff looking waaaaay up the table at its despised rivals, who won the season’s first El Clasico 2-1 and added insult to injury with a 3-2 aet win in the Spanish Super Cup semifinal round.
Xavi has steadied Barca’s ship since arriving to take over for Ronald Koeman, but the legendary Catalan club is 14 points off Real’s lead and holds just a single match-in-hand.
[ LIVE: La Liga stats, standings, scoreboard ]
Barca enters this tilt with four-straight La Liga wins, its ship steadied under Xavi as the club looks to send a message for the future against a Real side who has been playing well, too, with a matching four-match win streak.
Carlo Ancelotti’s Real has lost just twice in La Liga this season and holds a 10-point advantage on second-place Sevilla.
Even a decisive Barcelona win would be unlikely to jar the title race, and the clubs will not meet again this season. Both have been eliminated from the Copa del Rey and Barca was bounced from the Champions League to the Europa League.
Earlier Friday, Barca drew Eintracht Frankfurt in the Europa League quarterfinals and would face the winner of West Ham vs Lyon in the semifinals. Real Madrid drew Chelsea in the Champions League and would meet Atletico Madrid or Manchester City in the semifinal.
How to watch Real Madrid vs Barcelona in El Clasico
Kickoff: 4pm ET Sunday
Online: Stream via ESPN+