An El Clasico is always epic, always the most important couple of games in Spain, and indeed European club football. But the one on Sunday night reaches a few extra levels - victory for Real Madrid and they have, as good as, seen off the challenge from Barcelona for the La Liga title; but a win for Barca and they are right back in the mix to retain their Spanish league crown.
So, when the two big rivals meet at the Bernabeu, it will be a high-stakes game - they meet later in the Copa Del Rey final -- but the league is the ultimate reward.
"Our aim is to bring all our quality," said Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti, whose side are four points ahead of Barcelona with ten matches remaining in the season. "We have a lot of desire and we're going to try to do what we've done in previous matches: play attacking football and defend and attack together.
"In both teams there are players who can win matches on their own. The difference will be in the teamwork, not just in the quality of individual players. The team that plays best will win".
"A Clasico is always a good match and always has the same pressure because it's a very important game for the Liga and it's always different to every other match. We won't settle for a draw because we have the small advantage of being at home and we want to win.
"The support from our fans could be important for us and a small advantage against Barcelona."
The last time the two teams met, Barcelona got the better of Real Madrid in a typically ill-tempered contest in October; but that loss only ended up in galvanising Real, who haven't lost a single game in all competitions since - their unbeaten run currently standing at an impressive 31.
"When I managed other teams I paid my subscription to watch this match on television, but now I'm happy because I don't have to pay it anymore," Ancelotti joked. "For a manager, preparing for this kind of match is a very big source of motivation and pressure. Many managers would like to be in my place right now. I'm very happy and I hope to make as few mistakes as possible."
From Barcelona's point of view, a victory is an absolute must. A four-point lead in a league like the one in Spain, is a big advantage, and if Barca can cut it down to one point, they will not only naturally close the gap, but also put the pressure on Real going into the business end of the season.
"It's probably our last chance to win the league," Barcelona manager Gerardo Martino said. "There are nine games left after this Sunday's game and it's not the same to catch up one point than four or seven.
"It'd be really tough to make up seven points. Or even four! Not because we're not capable of doing it but because there are very few points left to play for and teams don't tend to slip up so much at this stage of the season."
La Liga: Real Madrid vs Barcelona El Clasico Live TV and Streaming Information (Match starts 9 pm local time, 1.30 am IST, 8 pm GMT, 4 pm ET)
|India||Star Sports 4 and Star Sports HD2|
|US||Bein Sports USA|
|Canada||Bein Sports Canada|
|United Kingdom||Sky Sports 4|
|Middle East||Bein Sports Arabia|
|Latin America||Direct TV|
Team news: Real Madrid: Ancelotti lost the services of Jese Rodriguez in the Champions League win over Schalke, and the Spanish forward joins Sami Khedira and Alvaro Arbeloa on the sidelines.
Barcelona: Gerard Pique has been included in the squad after overcoming an ankle injury, but fellow central defender Carles Puyol misses out, along with Isaac Cuenca, Jonathan Dos Santos and Oier Olazabal.
Key men: Real Madrid: Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale, obviously. Both have been in tremendous form, and along with Karim Benzema, have combined for a massive 50 league goals, with that number increasing to a stunning 76 in all competitions.
Barcelona: To Ronaldo and Bale, Barcelona have Lionel Messi and Neymar, and the tricky duo will need to be at their absolute best to stop Real Madrid from making a huge dent on their team's defence of the title.
Expected lineups: Real Madrid: Lopez; Carvajal, Pepe, Ramos, Marcelo; Di Maria, Alonso, Modric; Bale, Benzema, Ronaldo.
Barcelona: Valdes; Alves, Pique, Mascherano, Alba; Xavi, Busquets, Iniesta; Fabregas, Messi, Neymar.