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Real Madrid vs Barcelona, El Clasico 2017: Three keys to a Real Madrid win

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Keep Suarez under control.

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FC Barcelona v Real Madrid CF - La Liga Photo by Alex Caparros/Getty Images

Real Madrid host FC Barcelona in what will be the second —and last— El Clasico of the 2016-2017 season. This could be a decisive match for both teams as whoever gets the win will most likely have the edge in the race for the title. A draw could actually benefit Madrid given that Los Blancos have a three-point lead with one game at hand against Celta Vigo still to be played.

  1. Is Bale ready enough to start and deliver? Coach Zinedine Zidane confirmed that Gareth Bale will be available, so expect him to be in the starting XI. However, his latest performances have been far from good and his presence on the field could even hurt Madrid's chances if he isn't ready and fresh to play at his very best.
  2. Real Madrid's depth should be useful. Players like Isco, Marco Asensio, James Rodriguez, Alvaro Morata or Mateo Kovacic will be on the bench waiting for a chance to come on and change the course of the game. Zidane is usually fairly reluctant to make early substitutions, but he will have to trust those quality reserves in order to keep going after Barcelona.
  3. Ramos and Nacho vs Luis Suarez. This is the ultimate challenge for Nacho Fernandez. The Spanish defender was not expected to play such big games but Varane and Pepe got injured, so it's now his time to shine and prove he has what it takes to play regularly for this club. Luis Suarez will surely try to match up against him, so Sergio Ramos could be the one trying to take care of Messi. Both Ramos and Nacho will need to perform well if Madrid want the win.

How to watch El Clasico

Kick-off time: 20:45 CET, 02:45pm EST.

Venue: Estadio Santiago Bernabeu, Madrid, Spain.

Prediction: Real Madrid 2 (Ronaldo, Benzema)-0 FC Barcelona

Available TV: BeIN Sports (USA), Movistar Partidazo (Spain).

Available streaming: BeIN Sports Connect (USA), Fubo.TV (EVERY Real Madrid game with a high-quality and legal stream, click here to sign up and benefit from a huge offer for new members and Managing Madrid readers).