Football matches do not come much bigger than Real Madrid versus Barcelona and the stakes for the 227th El Clasico could scarcely be higher.
With the Liga title race entering the home straight, it is leaders Real who have the advantage and victory on Sunday at the Bernabeu would move Carlo Ancelotti's side seven points clear of their bitter rivals.
Such a gap would prove almost impossible for Barca to overturn as there are just nine league games left after this weekend's crunch clash.
And defender Jordi Alba concedes that the visitors simply must win if they are to retain realistic hopes of holding on to the Spanish top-flight crown.
"It's vital to win away to Madrid," Alba told Barca's official website. "We have to win in order to keep our title hopes alive.
"We're going to Madrid with the intention of winning the game. We know it will be difficult, but we want to play a good game and win."
It is a fixture that comes soaked in history and a host of stellar names have contributed to its rich tapestry, not least of all Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.
Two prolific forwards with a penchant for delivering on the big occasion, the duo have netted 30 Clasico goals between them and Messi will become the fixture's all-time leading scorer if he can take his tally to 19 this weekend.
That would eclipse the exploits of the legendary Alfredo Di Stefano, who is one of just three players to have scored more goals for Real than Ronaldo.
The Portuguese has racked up a phenomenal 242 goals since moving to the Bernabeu in 2009, ensuring his place among the pantheon of footballing greats.
Ronaldo was silenced by Gerardo Martino's men in October's meeting at Camp Nou, though, as the home side ran out 2-1 winners.
It was another global superstar who took centre stage that day, Neymar grabbing his first Clasico strike to put Barca ahead, with Alexis Sanchez doubling that lead before Jese Rodriguez's late consolation strike.
That result moved Martino's men six points clear of Real, but the side from Madrid have not lost in any competition since then - a run stretching 31 matches.
It marks a significant turnaround from last season, when Barca stormed to the title with 100 points, leaving Real trailing 15 behind.
And this term has seen the emergence of a third genuine championship contender, with Atletico Madrid, who will face Barca in the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals, adding another dimension to a fascinating title battle.
Real, drawn to face Borussia Dortmund in the same competition, will be without Jese, whose season was this week ended by a knee injury, but fellow forward Karim Benzema, who missed Tuesday's Champions League win over Schalke after limping off early in the 1-0 league triumph at Malaga, should return.
Barca may opt to recall Gerard Pique after the defender was left out of last Sunday's 7-0 win over Osasuna as a yellow card in the match would have earned him a suspension.
Jonathan dos Santos (knee) and Isaac Cuenca (hamstring) remain sidelined.
|22||Á. di María||35'|
|7||Cristiano Ronaldo||55' 86'|
|9||K. Benzema||20' 24'|
|Coach: C. Ancelotti|
for K. Benzema 66'
for Á. di María 85'
for L. Modrić 90'
|Serie A Review: El Shaarawy at the double in Milan victory, Fiorentina edge five-goal thriller|
|Taylor close to signing new Swansea contract|
|Milan 3 Torino 0: El Shaarawy grabs brace as Inzaghi´s men ease to victory|
|Bruce expresses sympathy with Hull owner and fans following relegation|
|Preston North End 4 Swindon Town 0: Beckford hat-trick seals promotion|
|Darmstadt promoted back to the Bundesliga after 33-year exile|
|Sherwood to assess Given injury ahead of FA Cup final|
|Europa League qualification would cap ´special´ season - Koeman|
|South Africa 0 Botswana 0 (6-7 on penalties): Hosts exit COSAFA Cup at first hurdle|
|Pearson hopeful of Cambiasso stay|
|Ings emotional after victorious ´last game´|
|Pochettino happy to finish fifth|
|West Brom release Mulumbu|
|Monk: Palace defeat not a reflection on season|
|LVG awaits news on ´minor´ Di Maria injury, refuses to comment on Falcao exit reports|
|Pulis accepts blame for West Brom´s Arsenal collapse|
|Toure and Milner were not saying goodbye - Pellegrini|
|Ramsey calls for patience in QPR rebuild|
|Allardyce: Time is right for West Ham exit|
|Mourinho already preparing for title defence|
|Eredivisie Review: Heerenveen to play Vitesse for Europa League place|
|Hughes hails Stoke showing|
|Carver still hoping to land Newcastle job|
|Sunderland squad needs better balance, says Advocaat|
|Pardew ´never dreamt´ of top-half finish at Palace|
|Survival Sunday: How the final-day Premier League relegation battle played out|
|Arsenal wanted Walcott stay regardless of hat-trick - Wenger|
|Bruce: Hull have not been good enough|
|De Gea has to say something - Van Gaal|
|Rodgers apologises after ´embarrassing´ defeat|
|Chelsea 3 Sunderland 1: Remy double secures win as Drogba bids farewell|
|Stoke City 6 Liverpool 1: Gerrard nets consolation in final-game thrashing|
|West Ham confirm Allardyce exit|
|Newcastle United 2 West Ham 0: Gutierrez on target as Carver´s men stay up|
|Crystal Palace 1 Swansea City 0: Chamakh earns season-closing win|
|Manchester City 2 Southampton 0: Lampard bids Premier League farewell with goal|
|Hull City 0 Manchester United 0: Bruce´s men relegated|
|Aston Villa 0 Burnley 1: Ings heads winner|
|Everton 0 Tottenham 1: Kane header seals fifth place|
|Leicester City 5 QPR 1: Vardy celebrates England call-up in style|
|Arsenal 4 West Brom 1: Wilshere screamer and trio for Theo secures third|
|Drogba carried from the pitch by Chelsea team-mates|
|Scottish Premiership Review: United take Dundee derby spoils, Celtic smash Inverness|
|Ashley not leaving Newcastle until club wins something|
|Klopp urges fans not to draw comparisons with Tuchel|
|Dortmund complete Castro capture|
|Stevens leaves Stuttgart after securing safety|
|Alves ruled out of Copa with serious knee injury|
|Drogba to leave Chelsea|
|Ashley is from another planet - Keegan|
|Sydney withdraw Janko offer amid talk of Toni|
|Cameron pens Stoke extension|
|Wimmer: I´m going to Tottenham|
|Returning Grabban ready for play-off final - Neil|
|Ferdinand ´overwhelmed´ by support following wife´s death|
|Odegaard enjoys ´nervous´ Real Madrid debut|
|Bamford fit but may be overlooked for play-off final|
|Barcelona´s best better than Real´s - Luis Enrique|
|Ancelotti laments key injuries in title failure|
|AFC Champions League Preview: Evergrande, Al Hilal desperate for wins|
|MLS Review: DC United deny nine-man Revolution, Rapids break drought|
|Bielsa hints at Marseille departure, congratulates Ligue 1|
|Silva, Matuidi eye fourth trophy|
|Jonas deserved golden boot - Jorge Jesus|
|Primeira Liga Review: Benfica celebrate title with home win|
|Ligue 1 Review: Monaco seal final Champions League spot, Marseille take fourth|
|Ancelotti to take sabbatical if sacked by Real|
|Mancini annoyed by ´absurd´ Inter mistakes|
|Simeone hails ´incredible season´|
|Replacing Xavi will be impossible - Luis Enrique|
|Ronaldo hopes Ancelotti will stay|
|Guardiola: We´ll be back stronger|
|Paris Saint-Germain 3 Reims 2: Cavani double sees champions celebrate title with routine win|
|Garitano stands down following Eibar relegation|
|Genoa 3 Inter 2: Kucka strikes blow to visitors´ Europa quest|
|Real Madrid 7 Getafe 3: Ronaldo nets treble and Odegaard makes history|
|Southend United 1 Wycombe Wanderers 1 (aet, 7-6 on penalties): Last-gasp Pigott and Bentley the hero|
|Odegaard becomes Real´s youngest player|
|Gargano omitted from Uruguay Copa America squad|
|La Liga Review: Depor save themselves with stunning comeback at Barca|
|Barcelona 2 Deportivo La Coruna 2: Salomao saves visitors as Xavi bids Camp Nou farewell|
|Granada 0 Atletico Madrid 0: Atleti secure third as hosts survive|
|Juventus 3 Napoli 1: Champions turn on the style|
|Tearful Klopp struggled to say goodbye|
|Scottish Premiership Review: Rangers to meet Motherwell in play-off final|
|Bundesliga Review: Freiburg and Paderborn relegated|
|Borussia Dortmund 3 Werder Bremen 2: Dortmund seal European spot as Klopp says farewell|
|Bayern Munich 2 Mainz 0: Schweinsteiger nets as champions celebrate title|
|Championship play-off final Preview: Karanka and Neil eye swift ascent to Premier League|
|Volland commits to Hoffenheim|
|Monk: Michu likely to move on|
|Allardyce not interested in Newcastle revenge|
|Sherwood confident of Benteke Villa stay|
|Rodgers calls on Liverpool fans to support Sterling|
|Khedira ´frozen out´ by Real|
|Hamstring injury rules Suarez out of Deportivo clash|
|Former Southampton managers hail ´excellent season´|
|Mourinho wants to remain in England after Chelsea|
|Rodgers ´150 per cent sure´ his job is safe|
|Maldini would ´love´ to help Milan|
|Doyle set for Rapids debut versus Whitecaps|
|MLS Review: Champions end winless run on day of late drama|
|Jemez doubted Rayo future|
|Zenga could replace Mihajlovic - Osti|
|Blanc wants to avoid Chelsea-like finish|
|Menez happy in Milan|
|Sherwood: Vlaar wants to stay|
|Arsenal v West Brom: Wenger calls for focus|