Barcelona and Real Madrid go head-to-head in 'El Clásico' this Sunday at the Camp Nou, with both teams fired-up to claim victory as Spain's arch-rivals do battle.
Barcelona are currently just one point ahead of Real Madrid at the top of La Liga and in terms of the title race, the outcome of this particular Clasico encounter could go a long way to deciding who claims the 2014-15 crown.
Recognising the significance of taking the three points on Sunday, in an interview with Barça TV and the official club website, centre-back Gerard Piqué underlined: "Winning the Clásico would be a very important step forward. There are ten games left and it’s very tight between us. If we get three points it also means that they won’t, and that will open a gap that might end up winning us the title."
Nothing can be taken for granted however, as the former Manchester United defender acknowledged with enthusiasm: "This is one of the most special games of the year, because of the rivalry between us and because we’re usually playing for titles against them. They’re another great team, with great players and that makes it so much more special. You have to prepare several days in advance, but it’s always a game you’re really looking forward to."
Piqué doesn't believe respective form of the two sides leading into this Clasico will make any difference towards the outcome of this particular clash at the Camp Nou, observing: "This isn't their best moment of the season, but the form-book goes out the window for the Clásico. Each side has a fifty-fifty chance of winning."
Conscious that he'll have his work cut out containing the threats posed by the 'BBC' trident of Bale, Benzema and Cristiano Ronaldo, the Barcelona defender highlighted: "They have Cristiano and Bale, two players that are very powerful, very fast, very dangerous in the one-on-one and who score goals. Benzema gives them balance. He looks to receive the ball and then takes on players to get into the area. It’s vital for us to stop him”
However, Barcelona have their very own potent 'MSN' trio of Messi, Suárez and Neymar, who will prove just as much of a handful for the rival Real Madrid defence and are firing on all cylinders at the moment. With an air of confidence, Piqué pointed out: "We are in very positive form and winning a lot of games. Most of all, we have three very strong players up front and we’re competing well at the back. We are all excited about the Clásico and hoping to get all three points from the game. You feel stronger and more confident on the back of a run like the one we’ve been having."
The stage is set, with a full house expected at the Camp Nou, and Barcelona have already announced the mosaic fans will display before the encounter on Sunday. It's sure to be another blood and thunder duel between the two giants when the whistle blows for kick-off.