Real Madrid and Barcelona will be facing each other on Sunday for the first highly anticipated El Clasico of the season. The match holds a lot of significance for both sides, not just for the current campaign, but also for its history and what it means for their long-standing rivalry.
The two Spanish giants first played against one another over a century ago in 1902 at the Copa de la Coronacion. However, the first official "El Clasico" between the two sides was contested in 1916.
According to research done by Marca, the two clubs have played a total of 246 times against each other across various competitions. The question is, which side has the historical advantage? The rivalry is actually very tight, with Real Madrid leading the tally with 98 wins. However, the Blaugrana are only two wins behind with 96. The games ended with a draw 52 times, making the "El Clasico" a pretty much even affair for the past century.
On Sunday, Real Madrid are coming in as favourites despite the match taking place at the Camp Nou. Los Blancos have had a better start to their campaign, and they are coming off a 5-0 Champions League win against Shakhtaar Donetsk.
Meanwhile, Barcelona have had a shaky season, with manager Ronald Koeman often being surrounded by sacking rumours. Not only that, there is massive instability at Barcelona thanks to their financial crisis.
Real Madrid's advantage also stems from the fact that they won both La Liga Clasicos last season. They won 3-1 at Barcelona's home ground while also securing a 2-1 win at their temporary digs at the Alfredo di Stefano.
A lot has changed since then however, with both former captains Lionel Messi and Sergio Ramos no longer playing for Barcelona and Real Madrid respectively. The rosters have changed significantly, and both teams will be eager to put one over the other. Barcelona will have the chance to leapfrog Real Madrid in the standings and get themselves out of their miserable seventh place.
The match is scheduled to kick off at 13:15 BST, with the Camp Nou now allowed to operate at full capacity.