Barcelona could be about to go a period of transformation and transition according to Real Madrid legend Emilio Butragueno.
The former striker, who won six La Liga crowns at the Bernabeu and is now a club director, believes the ageing of Andres Iniesta and the impending departure of Luis Enrique could work in Madrid’s favour.
"Barcelona's engine [Iniesta] is aging. He's going to be 33 and can't play to the same intensity that he used to. Xavi has already gone,” Butragueno explained to ESPN.
“These two between them dictated the way the team played. With a new coach also coming in, I think there will be a change to Barcelona's style and the way they are set out. In the near future, this could work to Real's advantage.
"All Clasicos are crucial because neither side wants to lose. But this one has an added edge because it comes quite late in the season. The title will not be decided by the match but whoever wins will go into the remainder of the season full of confidence because there will be only be five games left."
Butragueno also insists the emergence of Atletico Madrid as a growing power in Spain has been good for his own club and the league as a whole.
"Diego Simeone has done a wonderful job. He's a strong personality, sometimes a little too strong but he has built a team that reflects this,” Butragueno continued.
“Atletico's performances over the last few years have reignited the rivalry between us and as with El Clasico, this is a match all of us want to win.
"The emergence of Atletico shows how competitive La Liga actually is and that it's not a competition just between the big two [Real and Barcelona].
“Some claim that the Premier League is a better competition but there are 10 points separating the top four teams in Spain while Chelsea are 10 points clear at the top and are likely to become champions. For me, this makes La Liga the best in the world."