The biggest game of the weekend in Spain pits the top two sides in La Liga against each other, but whilst everyone is focused on what the big guns on the field will produce on Saturday afternoon, it's just as intriguing to ponder how the Coaches will set the teams out from the start.
Barcelona go into the game in a good position with the Catalans top, not only ahead of today's rivals on goal difference but with a game in hand to play. With a gruelling schedule filled with three-game weeks not easing up until early March, there has been talk that Luis Enrique could give a couple of players a breather given the team's healthy standing, but that seems unlikely to happen here in such a big game.
Most are expecting Barca to line up in what is known as the Grand Once with Jordi Alba set to start after shaking off a hamstring problem and the likes of Claudio Bravo, Andres Iniesta, and Sergio Busquets also back having not started Wednesday's win over Athletic Bilbao. If this does turn out to be the case, new signings Aleix Vidal and Arda Turan would only start on the bench.
Atletico Madrid have some issues going into this game with Tiago Mendes and Fernando Torres injured as well as Angel Correa suspended. Not many surprises are expected in their XI, although there are question marks over whether Luciano Vietto or Jackson Martinez partner Antoine Griezmann and who starts on the left side of midfield, either Saul Niguez or Yannick Carrasco.
There's also some question whether Diego Simeone will opt to go with 4-4-2 or a 4-3-3, but seeing as his biggest goal threat all season has been Griezmann, it's likely that he'll look to play him closer to goal and use his pace to give his team a better chance on the counter. Regardless of how he lines them up though, Simeone has the tools at his disposal to change systems during the game and make things difficult for Barca.
For Barcelona, it'll be interesting to see whether they'll go for the kill from the kick-off or if they'll be patient and wait for their chance. While Barca did record four wins out of four against Atleti last season, the visitors have tightened up considerably this campaign and currently have the best defensive record in Europe. They're as close to being as solid at the back as they were in 2013-14, when they won the League and didn't lose to Barca once in six meetings that year.
Barca's famed front trio can’t expect to get plenty of space, but depending on how they start, an early goal could be just what they need to get Atleti to come out and play, opening themselves up in the process for counters. That sub-plot makes the anticipation going into this game that little bit bigger.
Atletico's unexpected Copa del Rey exit in midweek after relinquishing top spot last week puts them under pressure to get a result at Camp Nou. Otherwise their title hopes could be fading away. Whether they'll see a draw as a good result or push for the win is another matter, but it's an ideal scenario for Enrique and his men as they'll look to pounce on any doubts in the Madrid side's camp and get the win to put themselves clear of the pack and on course for a second consecutive League title.