Finally, in December, one of the two biggest domestic league games in world football will be played. The other, of course, is the spring edition of El Clasico, as Real Madrid and Barcelona slug it out to determine who will become the favorite to hoist the La Liga crown. In the recent past, it's been all about the Clasicos in Spain's La Liga, as the rest of the league has failed to challenge the top two. The league champion will likely be the side that takes more points from the two league Clasicos.
This game has gone virtually untouched by injuries and suspensions this time around, with Madrid central defender Ricardo Carvalho the only key absence. There are slight doubts over Nuri Sahin and Alvaro Arbeloa as well, but both are expected to be fit enough to make the 18-man squad. Barcelona have no particular injury concerns and Pep Guardiola will be able to play whatever team he likes.
Madrid sit top of La Liga, three points ahead of the Blaugranas with one game in hand. For the first time under Jose Mourinho's reign, Los Blancos are coming into a Clasico as the favorites. They are in better form than Barcelona and playing at home, so the pressure is firmly on them to finally rise to the occasion and win a league match against Barcelona.
For more reading pre-match, check out our Clasico StoryStream from earlier in the week, with recaps of both teams' last two games, commentary from team blogs and features on the game.
Real Madrid vs. Barcelona, El Clasico
Game Date/Time: Saturday, Dec. 10, 4:00 p.m. ET, 9:00 p.m. GMT, 10:00 p.m. local
Venue: Estadio Santiago Bernabeu, Madrid, Spain
TV: GolTV (USA - English and Canada), ESPN Deportes (USA - Spanish), Sky Sports 1 (UK)
Online: ESPN3 (USA)
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.