From a Barcelona perspective, Sunday’s match against Real Madrid is their most important El Clasico fixture in La Liga for some time.
A victory for the Blaugrana would put them twelve points clear of Carlo Ancelotti’s side with 12 games of the season to go, which would be a huge margin for Los Blancos to chase down.
Speaking ahead of El Clasico, Ancelotti was keen to play down the match’s importance in the title race. In his own pre-match press conference, Xavi Hernandez did the same, stating his belief that there is still a long way to go.
“Whatever happens tomorrow, it won’t be definitive. There’s still a long way to go, but winning would mean a big blow for Real Madrid.”
Xavi also wants to be see a difference performance from the previous El Clasico meeting, which saw Barcelona defeat Real Madrid 1-0 in the first leg of their Copa del Rey semi-final with a battling performance.
Despite the win, Barcelona were criticised for their style of play, and Xavi is hoping to see a more dominant display against Real Madrid on Sunday.
“Our goal is to dominate the game, something we’ve practically always done except for the last game at the Bernabeu. Our goal is to be more like the version of the Super Cup final.
Barcelona are closing in on a first La Liga title in four years. A victory for Xavi’s side would surely put one hand on the trophy, as they target a domestic treble this season.