If Barça win, they’ll get within a point of Madrid with just four matches left to play.
Guardiola admitted on Friday that Alexis Sánchez is doubtful for the match.
Guardiola has been preparing for tonight’s match with 21 players, 18 from the first team plus Montoya, Bartra and Tello from Barça B. All of Fontàs, Villa and Abidal are, of course, still unavailable while Afellay has yet to play since being declared fully fit ten days ago. And there are also doubts concerning the fitness of Alexis Sánchez, as Josep Guardiola revealed at his Friday press conference.
Both Barça and Madrid are going into the clásico having just played the first legs of their respective Champions League semi finals. And what’s more, they are both faced with the challenge of having to turn around one goal deficits. But it would be too dangerous a distraction for either side to let their thoughts drift to their European commitments tonight, even though the outcome of tonight’s result could have a huge bearing on their morale against Bayern and Chelsea, respectively. Whoever comes out best tonight will also receive a massive boost for their hopes in the European semi finals.
Madrid have reasons of their own to feel optimistic. They have only lost one of their 16 away fixtures in the league this season (1-0 at Levante), having won 13 and only drawn twice (0-0 in Santander and 1-1 at Vila-real). But they suffered defeat on Tuesday in Munich (2-1) and José Mourinho’s side have also failed to beat FC Barcelona in any of their last seven attempts. The last Madrid win was in last season’s Copa del Rey Final on April 20, 2011. Let’s hope that negative run continues… (via FCBarcelona.com)