BARCELONA, Sporting Alert – Real Madrid are six points clear of Barcelona heading into today’s La Liga El Clasico clash at Camp Nou.
Live stream on beIN Sports Connect USA. beIN SPORTS USA will also have live coverage of the contest, which kicks-off at 3:15 p.m. GMT local time and 10:15 a.m. ET.
Sergio Ramos has netted the equalizer for Real Madrid, heading home powerful beyond Ter Stegen in the 90th minute and the visitors will be happy. Barcelona, including Messi and Neymar wasted too many chances and failed to captured the three points needed.
Luis Suarez heads Barcelona into the lead against Real Madrid in the El Clasico in the 53rd minute. Suarez headed home past Navas off a free kick.
Zinedine Zidane side leads the points standing with 33 points, while Barcelona are second on 27. Another victory today for Real Madrid would put the Whites firmly in the driver’s seat to win the league this season.
Barcelona boss Luis Enrique admits he team needs all three points today.
“Without a doubt [Barca are the most in need], you just have to look at the table,” he said.
“I expect Madrid to play as they have done since the start of the season and last year, they have no problem in leaving the ball to the opposition and we need it, Enrique added. “In that sense we understand each other.
“They take advantage of set-pieces, quick transitions, few touches and the efficiency of their players in the final third. We need more control to create spaces and chances.”
Zidane is without star forward Gareth Bale, who is out with an ankle surgery, while midfielder Toni Kroos and striker Alvaro Morata are also out due to injuries.
Karim Benzema will partner Cristiano Ronaldo in the Real Madrid attack, with Lucas and Isco also starting in advanced positions.
Luka Modric and Mateo Kovacic are the central midfielders today, with Dani Carvajal, Raphael Varane, Sergio Ramos and Marcelo playing in the back.
For Barcelona, left-back Jordi Alba has been passed fit to start in defense and will join Sergi Roberto, Gerard Pique and Javier Mascherano in the back four.
Ivan Rakitic, Sergio Busquets and Andre Gomes are the midfielders today, with Andres Iniesta starting on the bench.
Then it’s the world’s most prolific frontline trio of Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar who will hunt for goals for Barcelona today.
Iniesta is joined on the bench by Arda Turan, Paco Alcacer, Lucas Digne, Denis Suarez and Samuel Umtiti.
Messi will captain Barcelona for the first time against Real Madrid.
Barcelona: Ter Stegen, Pique, Rakitic, Busquets, Suarez, Messi, Neymar, Mascherano, Alba, Roberto, Gomes. Subs: Cillessen, Digne, Umtiti, Denis Suarez, Turan, Iniesta, Alcacer.
Real Madrid: Navas, Carvajal, Varane, Ramos, Marcelo, Kovacic, Modric, Isco, Lucas Vazquez, Ronaldo, Benzema. Subs: Casilla, Pepe, Nacho, Rodriguez, Casemiro, Mariano, Asensio.