Lionel Messi and his fitness for the El Clasico has been the major talking point going into this mega Real Madrid vs Barcelona clash on Saturday.
According to Messi's Barcelona teammate Luis Suarez, the Argentine has looked sharp in training and could well feature in the biggest match of them all after recovering from a knee injury suffered at the end of September.
"Whether he plays or not is down to the coach, the medics and how he feels but he has been looking sharp in training," Suarez was quoted as saying by The Guardian. "However, it is the type of injury where there are risks for the future."
Barcelona have done pretty well in Messi's absence, with Suarez and Neymar taking up the burden and zooming their team to the top of the La Liga table, where they sit three points ahead of their biggest rivals Real Madrid.
The most pleasing aspect from Barcelona's point of view is the manner in which Neymar has assumed the attacking-leader responsibility with Messi out injured. The Brazilian has been in ridiculous form, scoring goals, bagging assists and making Barcelona tick much like Messi does.
While Barca have been doing well without Messi, Suarez has no doubt that the La Liga club are a much more potent attacking unit with the Argentine back in the lineup.
"Leo is above any other player due to what he has achieved and what he is still doing," Suarez added. "Messi is a player that makes a difference in all games and in Clasicos he has always made a big impact but we will have to see if he is ready.
"Ney is amazing, behind Messi and could easily be the second best in the world. At the moment he is playing incredibly and it is great to see.
"We knew that we were going to be without Leo and that we had to be strong both physically and mentally. We have lost some points as have Madrid, but we are happy because we have picked up good results without the best player in the world."
Messi has an outstanding record in El Clasicos and Barcelona could certainly use his magical abilities on Saturday at the Bernabeu. Because if Barcelona manage to pick up a victory, they will go six points clear of Real Madrid, a big gap, even in this early phase of the La Liga season.
"You never know what can happen in these types of games and when you start as favourite it can often go wrong," Suarez added. We will have to be fully concentrated.
The fact that Madrid lost their last game [to Sevilla] is not so important as they have great players. The league will not be decided by this game even if we open up a six-point lead, as there is still a long way to go.
"It is not easy to win a league and there are also other teams like Atletico [Madrid]."