Toni Kroos, Lionel Messi & Luka Modric
Barcelona are hoping Lionel Messi will play a part in the first El Clasico of the seasonReuters

Real Madrid will be out to close a three-point gap on La Liga leaders Barcelona in the highly-anticipated 230th El Clasico meeting between the great rivals at Santiago Bernabeu on 21 November.

Where to watch

Kick-off is set for 5.15pm GMT. The game will be broadcast live on Sky Sports 2 HD.

Overview

Rafael Benitez is under pressure to deliver a win in his first El Clasico after Real Madrid suffered their first competitive defeat under the Spaniard against Sevilla in their last league outing. The home side are three points behind La Liga leaders Barcelona going into the clash and can ill afford to fall six points behind this early in the title race.

Striker Karim Benzema has recovered from a hamstring injury, but is lacking in match fitness, and may have to settle for a place on the bench. In-form goalkeeper Keylor Navas has shaken off a groin strain and is expected to start between the posts, while defender Sergio Ramos would play despite carrying a shoulder niggle.

Barcelona head to the capital boasting a seven-game unbeaten run that has seen them leapfrog Real at the top of the table. Luis Enrique will be desperate to avoid a repeat outcome of last year's match at the Bernabeu, when Barca were outclassed 3-1 by Carlo Ancelotti's men.

Lionel Messi has recovered from a knee injury that has sidelined him for the best part of two months and is widely expected to start on the bench. Rafinha who has a knee injury is definitely out, while playmaker Ivan Rakitic, who has injured his calf, is also a doubt.

What managers say

Rafael Benitez: "We played 30 very good minutes, lots of control, in all levels. Then we let [Sevilla] score at a set-piece. That changed the game. From the second goal we started to make mistakes, they took advantage and scored a third. We came back and scored late, but it wasn't enough. That was the lesson from the game, in the first half a good Real Madrid for a long time, in the second half we were not able to manage the situation. We should have killed the game in the first half, and we didn't."

Luis Enrique: "I am delighted to have Neymar, Leo, [Sergio] Busquets, Andres [Iniesta], Luis [Suarez]. I am privileged, they are unique players committed to the collective cause. It is not for me to say if this is our best moment of the season, but we are getting better. I hope and wish that we can get a lot better, but we allowed Villarreal to create few chances, which means we did well. In both aspects of play (attack and defence) we did well."

Form guide

Real Madrid (all competitions): L W W W D

Last result: Sevilla 3-2 Real Madrid

Barcelona (all competitions): W W W D W

Last result: Barcelona 3-0 Villarreal

Betting odds (888sport)

Real Madrid win: 23/15

Draw: 16/9

Barcelona win: 27/10

Team news

Real Madrid possible XI: Navas; Carvajal, Ramos, Varane, Marcelo; Kroos, Casemiro; Bale, Modric, Isco; Ronaldo.

Barcelona possible XI: Bravo; Alves, Pique, Mascherano, Alba; Rakitic, Busquets, Iniesta; Munir, Suarez, Neymar.