Today’s El Classico matchup between Barcelona and Real Madrid has immense league implications. Real Madrid currently sits atop La Liga with 85 points, but Barcelona are just 4 points behind them with 81. If Barcelona are able to pull out the home win in today’s match, they’ll find themselves one point off the league leaders with 4 games left to play.

The game is set to start at 2:00 pm EST at Camp Nou in Barcelona. If you aren’t ready for an afternoon pub session, you can watch El Classico on TV on ESPN Deportes and online on ESPN3.  If you don’t have ESPN3 access you can also Live Stream the the game here or Gamecast it here.

In addition to the impact that the match will have on the league standings, there are personal bragging rights on the line between the two best players in La Liga and arguably the world.  Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo enter the match tied with 41 league goals each.  They have already set the record for most goals in a La Liga season, so every goal they score from here on will only raise the bar.  Total for the 2011-2012 season Messi has 63 goals while Cristiano is just behind him with 57.

If Real Madrid are not shut out by Barcelona, they will break their own team record for goals in a La Liga season with 107.

Take a look at this video comparing the two world-class players:

Each team played a Champions League semi-final match in the middle of last week and, with the second legs just a few days away,they may look to rest their stars.

The lineups for Real Madrid and Barcelona have already been released.  Take a look:


  • G – Victor Valdés
  • D – Carlos Puyol
  • D – Javier Mascherano
  • D – Adriano
  • D – Dani Alves
  • M – Sergio Busquets
  • M – Thiago
  • M – Xavi
  • F – Andrés Iniesta
  • F – Lionel Messi

Real Madrid

  • G – Iker Casillas
  • D – Sergio Ramos
  • D – Pepe
  • D – Fábio Coentrăo
  • D – Álvaro Arbeloa
  • M – Sami Khedira
  • M – Xabi Alonso
  • M – Cristiano Ronaldo
  • M – Ángel Di María
  • F – Karim Benzema

Here is ESPN’s prediction for the match:

Barcelona have had the better of the game in recent years and home advantage could count even in light of the extra day Madrid have to recover from the Champions League. Both are hurting after their European defeats and will want to prove they are top of the tree.

[image via graget]