Luis Suarez
Real Madrid are unbeaten in their last 32 matches in all competitions AFP

Barcelona can ill afford to lose further ground to arch-rivals Real Madrid in La Liga as they gear up for the first El Clasico of the season at Camp Nou on 3 November.

Where to watch

Kick-off is set for 3.15pm GMT. The game is not scheduled for live broadcast in the UK.


A much-changed Barcelona were held to a 1-1 draw by third-tier outfit Hercules in the Copa del Rey in midweek – the Catalan giants' third draw in their last four matches in all competitions. Luis Enrique's side have fallen six points behind Real Madrid following an indifferent start to the season and cannot afford to lose against their great rivals at Camp Nou.

Andres Iniesta is fit again after recovering from a knee injury and could start against Real. Lionel Messi, Gerard Pique and Jordi Alba suffered knocks in the 1-1 draw against Real Sociedad last weekend but are available for the upcoming game.

Real Madrid beat Cultural Leonesa 6-1 in midweek to register their fifth straight win. The capital club are unbeaten in their last 32 matches in all competitions and beat Barcelona 2-1 in this corresponding fixture last season, courtesy of goals from Karim Benzema and Cristiano Ronaldo.

Gareth Bale and Toni Kroos are both sidelined through injury for the visitors.

What managers say

Luis Enrique: "In terms of intensity, I have not seen relaxed players. They wanted to win but we have experience in this kind of knockout tie [against Hercules]. As much as I'm not happy ,we tried to create problems for a team who changed its system to put five players in defence. We struggled in the first half, we were pretty bad. In the second half we created more chances and could have won but the tie is open and you have to wait for the second leg."

Zinedine Zidane: "We're not thinking about the consequences of the result [against Barcelona], only about preparing well for the game. Whatever happens it won't be decisive. It's a good match against a great opponent who will certainly make it difficult for us and that's all there is to it. We have to be ready. Now we need to rest up and we'll start our preparations tomorrow. It won't be decisive, not at all."

Form guide

  • Barcelona (all competitions): DDWDW
  • Last result: Hercules 1-1 Barcelona (Copa del Rey)
  • Real Madrid (all competitions): WWWWW
  • Last result: Real Madrid 6-1 Cultural Leonesa (Copa del Rey)

Betting odds (Betfair)

  • Barcelona win: 17/20
  • Draw: 16/5
  • Real Madrid win: 29/10

Team news

Barcelona possible XI: Ter Stegen; Roberto, Pique, Umtiti, Alba; Rakitic, Busquets, Iniesta; Messi, Suarez, Neymar.

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