Since Jose Mourinho took the reins at Real Madrid, Barcelona has been at least a slight favorite in every single Clasico. Though Mourinho has gotten his tactics right on a few occasions, his team has struggled to overcome the talent and chemistry of Barcelona. For the first time since Mourinho and Guardiola have managed these sides, Real Madrid is expected to come away with a win, or at least look like the side in control of a draw at the Santiago Bernabeu on Saturday. They're three points ahead in the table with one game in hand, effectively holding a six-point lead in La Liga.
This match is being touted as a possible title decider, and it's only December. As SB Nation's Real Madrid blog Managing Madrid points out, Barcelona are currently in a bit of a hole. If they drop all three points in this Clasico, they will have a long, tough road back to the top of the table.
The previous weeks haven't been very kind to the 2010-2011 Spanish Champions. Barcelona have dropped a couple important points which means that they are now three points behind league leaders Real Madrid having played one game more. However, the Catalans have picked themselves up in a dramatic fashion, crushing Levante 5-0 in the league as well as sweeping aside Bate Borisov 4-0 in the Champions League on Tuesday. They will be hoping to continue to ride this momentum into the match. If Barcelona edge out Madrid come Saturday, both teams will be tied at the top with Los Blancos having a game in hand. But if Barcelona lose this Classico, they could be on their way to being nine points off their rivals.
We'll have live coverage of El Clasico from just before 4:00 p.m. ET, when lineups are released. For more on the two teams, head over to Real Madrid blog Managing Madrid and FC Barcelona blog Barca Blaugranes. Check out SB Nation Soccer and our El Clasico StoryStream for more in the build-up to the game. For more from around the world of football, follow @SBNationSoccer on twitter.