Real Madrid look for El Clásico win to tighten grip on LaLiga
Real Madrid host Barcelona on Sunday in the final game of matchday 29th in LaLiga, in a game that could see Ancelotti's side take a huge step in securing the title.
Carlo Ancelotti's men lead the standings with a 10-point advantage over second-placed Sevilla and 15 points over Barça and Atlético Madrid, third and fourth, respectively.
Real Madrid will also be buoyed knowing that in the last give 'El Clasico' meetings, the side from the capital have triumphed in four of the past five meetings.
'Los Blancos' go into the game fired-up after qualification for the Champions League quarter-finals coming from behind against PSG following up that win with a solid 0-3 win away in Mallorca in LaLiga with Ancelotti keen to keep his team's feet on the ground.
"It doesn't change anything that we have an important advantage, it's good at this point in the season," Ancelotti said after Mallorca, insisting that "it doesn't change anything, we have to win on Sunday."
The win in the Balearic capital was marred by the injuries sustained to Ferland Mendy, who suffered an abductor injury in his left leg and Karim Benzema, who had to withdraw late in the game with left muscular problems and has been ruled out of Sunday's El Clasico.
After an indifferent start to the 2021-22 campaign under Ronald Koeman, Xavi has transformed FC Barcelona and unbeaten in ten LaLiga matches, eight of which have been wins.
Barça will also be buoyed by their 2-1 win at Galatasaray on Thursday to reach the quarter-finals of the Europa League, where they are the only Spanish survivors.
"Today is a turning point for the project, for the group and for continuing to grow," said Barça coach Xavi Hernandez, who has managed to transform the Catalan side's season.
The Camp Nou outfit have gone from ninth in LaLiga outside of European places when Xavi's arrival on the bench was announced in November to third place, although catching 'Los Merengues' looks complicated.
"Wining LaLiga is very difficult, even if we win at the Bernabéu because Madrid won't slip upl," Barça coach Xavi Hernández admitted last Sunday after the emphatic 4-0 win over Osasuna.
Barça have been able to take advantage of recent winter signings, especially Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who has scored seven goals in ten games since his arrival, including the winner against Galatasaray.
The Franco-Gabonese striker is shaping up to be one of Barça's main weapons on Sunday, alongside the diabolical Pedro Gonzalez 'Pedri'.
The young Spanish international, the other scorer on Thursday in Istanbul, has been a regular for Xavi since returning in January from a muscle injury that caused him to miss the first half of the season.
The Canary Islander has become the mainstay of Xavi's Barçelona, who have an excellent opportunity to consolidate their season turnaround after a difficult first half of the campaign.