The rivalry between Real Madrid and Barcelona is unparalleled among soccer’s most storied rivals. The two teams have jointly dominated Spanish soccer from pre-LaLiga times. As a domestic powerhouse, Barcelona have 75 titles to Real Madrid‘s 68, giving them the upper hand. On Sunday, they will meet once again.

When Barcelona beat Paris Saint-Germain 3-2 away in the first leg of their Champions League quarterfinal match, they had high aspirations of advancing to the finals this season. It was a major letdown for them as they were eliminated from the tournament.

That puts Barcelona’s prospects of taking home a trophy this year at an extremely low level. Their only remaining competition is La Liga. However, the Blaugrana are presently in second place, eight points behind Real Madrid, with seven games remaining in the championship race.

If Xavi’s players were to win in Madrid, it would revive the championship competition. Nonetheless, Los Blancos would have to make a huge mistake for them to have at least any shot at winning the championship.

El Clasico to be without many Barcelona fans

Fans of both clubs’ games are in for a treat on Sunday at the Santiago Bernabeu for the season-ending Clasico. As one would expect, El Clasico is the most anticipated soccer match of the Spanish calendar.

It has a history of drawing in millions of viewers from across the world. So, when the two biggest clubs in La Liga face off for the third time in the 2023-24 season, it is sure to be an incredible sight for everyone lucky enough to be in attendance.

Unfortunately, hardly many fans have traveled to Madrid, reflecting the general lack of confidence among Barcelona supporters. Reports from Diario AS state that the club has not arranged for any official fan travel plan by road, train, or air. Whether this is a result of fan indifference or club policy remains unknown.

La Liga isn’t known for significant away followings
La Liga isn’t known for significant away followings

La Liga isn’t known for significant away followings

The price of match tickets continues to be a big concern for supporters, even if La Liga has ordered a reduction in ticket prices for away spectators. For this match, away fans may purchase tickets ranging from $133 for the lowest (non-VIP) option to $475 for the maximum.

How was previous El Clasico?

Xavi, head coach of Barcelona, had previously stated his intention to leave the club at the season’s end after a disappointing run of results earlier in the year. But in the ten league matches after his statement, the Catalans have remained defeatless.

In contrast, Real Madrid have won all 25 of their La Liga matches played since September. In reality, they’ve only dropped one game all season, and that was against Atletico Madrid, their nearest neighbors.

The home team will be without Thibaut Courtois and David Alaba owing to long-term injuries. Meanwhile, the away team will be without Gavi and Alejandro Balde, two young players.

The two teams met previously this season in a league match, and Real Madrid came out on top at Barcelona’s Montjuic Stadium. Carlo Ancelotti triumphed 2-1 on the road, with goals by Jude Bellingham.

Photo credits: IMAGO / NurPhoto : IMAGO / AgenciaLOF