A lot more could be defined when both Barcelona and Real Madrid go head-to-head for the first time in the Spanish league this season. For the Catalans, the prime objective for
them will be to maintain their status atop the league log while extending their unbeaten streak in the last three games.
On the other hand, a crisis-hit Real Madrid side will fervently welcome the idea of easing the weariness among fans with a victory. The capital club enters Sunday's epic clash without a single win in its last four La Liga games. With Julen Lopetegui reportedly on the brink of being shown the exit door, the essence of his "white angles" stepping up to ensure a favorable outcome cannot be overemphasized.
Regarding results, a key factor to consider in determining which way the bragging rights might head on Sunday is how formidable Barcelona has been at home and how Real Madrid has been away from home. Per the statistics, Barca has scored a massive 18 goals at home while Real Madrid has found the net only five times away.
Aside the 1-1 draw with Athletic Club back in September, the Blaugrana has scored two or more goals in the five home matches played so far. Among those was the 8-2 thrashing of Huesca on Matchday 3.
In that respect, Barcelona currently averages 2.56 goals per game whiles in matches played at home, the team's tally cumulatively amounts to 3.60 goals per game. Examining the concession tally, Valverde's men have allowed in seven goals although none of it placed them in a losing position.
In contrast, Real Madrid is yet to establish its attacking dominance away from home. Of the five goals Los Merengues have scored, they have also conceded six times. Away from home, Julen Lopetegui's men currently average 1.25 goals per game.
Verdict: While the unpredictability of El Clasico still remains, a lot points at a Barcelona win even without talisman Lionel Messi. With Real Madrid's defensive fragilities exposing itself with each passing matchday, the Catalans may be too much to handle should they turn up the heat.
Predicted full-time score: Barcelona 3:1 Real Madrid.