Barcelona vs. Real Madrid: Preview and TV schedule
The last time Barcelona and Real Madrid played was in early March when Los Blancos won 2-1 thanks to goals from Karim Benzema and Sergio Ramos. Both teams now have new coaches, new faces on the roster and this time the title race is still very much on.
Gerardo Martino appears to have just one big decision to make for his starting eleven. Javier Mascherano returned from injury in the midweek against AC Milan and looked a bit rusty. Veteran team captain Carles Puyol did not play in Italy after starting against Osasuna last weekend. Does Martino go with Puyol, arguably the heart and soul of the team, or stick with Mascherano who has been his first choice starter all season? I tend to believe he'll go with Puyol but we'll have to wait and see.
Meanwhile Carlo Ancelotti has a decision to make as well on the right side of his attack. Angel di Maria has done nothing lately to deserve losing his spot in the lineup but big money signing Gareth Bale is finally healthy and catching up on match fitness. Los Blancos brought in Bale to start and if he's ready to go, it makes sense to put him in the lineup.
If Bale starts, or plays, it will be his Clásico debut but he likely won't be alone in getting his first taste of this massive rivalry. Barcelona's big summer addition Neymar will be playing in his first match against Los Blancos while Isco and Asier Illarramendi would face Barca for the first time wearing the famous white jerseys of Madrid.
Barcelona injuries and suspensions
Real Madrid injuries and suspensions
Out: Xabi Alonso (foot).
For Barca, Gerard Piqué is a slight doubt with a hamstring tweak. Unless he has a setback during warm-ups, it's hard to see him not starting. Jordi Alba remains sidelined with a thigh injury, his second in succession this season. Xabi Alonso continues to recover from foot surgery for Real Madrid but Ancelotti's side is otherwise healthy.
Match Date/Time: 6 p.m. local, 12 p.m. ET
Venue: Camp Nou, Barcelona, Spain
TV: beIN Sport, beIN Sport en Español (U.S.), Sky Sports 2 (U.K.), GOL T, Canal+ Liga / HD (Spain)
Online: beIN Sport Play (U.S.), Sky Go (U.K.), beIN Sport Play (Canada), GOL Stadium (Spain)
More in Soccer:
This article originally appeared on SBNation.Click here for the full article »