Real Madrid has a crucial string of matches at this stage of the season. After a convincing 3-1 victory against Liverpool FC in the first leg of their UEFA Champions League quarter-final clash, Los Blancos will be going into "El Clasico" full of confidence.

Liverpool was completely outclassed on Tuesday night as Real Madrid dominated the game at the Estadio Alfredo di Stefano. It was unexpectedly easy considering the concerns surrounding the absences of Sergio Ramos and Rafael Varane.

Ramos is out again due to a calf injury while Varane has tested positive for Covid-19. In their absence, Nacho and Eder Militao stepped up in defence and an aggressive approach kept the backline safe. The success of the lineup will be good news for Zinedine Zidane who will still be left without both defenders against Barcelona.

Young guns Vinicius Jr. and Marco Asensio led the attack against Liverpool, and Zidane will be hoping that they can bring the momentum once the weekend comes around. Vini Jr. has always been hailed for his speed and creativity up front, but his finishing has drawn a lot of criticism. His brace against Liverpool has silenced his critics, and Real Madrid fans will be hoping for consistency for the rest of the season.

Meanwhile, Marco Asensio has had something of a resurgence after being sidelined with a knee injury for the most part of last season. He has turned up the intensity in recent weeks and has finally started to show his true potential.

The midfield wonder duo of Toni Kroos and Luka Modric will also be available, alongside Karim Benzema.

The match against Barcelona could potentially be title-winning, with only three points separating the top three in La Liga at the moment. Atletico Madrid leads with 66 points, with Barcelona just a point behind. Real Madrid stands in third with 63 points.

A win on Saturday will put the defending champions level on points with Atletico and with a chance to claim the top spot. Of course, they will also be hoping for Atletico to drop points if they want to win the title. Barcelona also have a must-win situation and are also relying on the leaders to slip up. However, they have their fate in their hands as they are still scheduled to host the leaders on May 9.

Barcelona started the season on a sour note following a massive crisis both on and off the pitch. However, they have turned things around and are in a good position to possibly claim the La Liga trophy. It will be an exciting end to the La Liga season, with the three-way battle heating up to fever pitch.

Vinicius Jr.
Real Madrid's Brazilian forward Vinicius Junior celebrates after scoring against Barcelona AFP / OSCAR DEL POZO