By Tim Stannard
Real Madrid looks for a win in El Clasico after two years of Barcelona dominance
Better late than never.
Nearly two months after the original date of El Clasico in Camp Nou, the biggest, baddest, and bestest club game in the world is back in business. And it's in the afternoon, as opposed to being 4AM in the morning for the West Coast posse.
Good news all round then, although fingers are crossed that planned protests for those seeking a Catalan independence referendum do not impact the game.
With the two teams tied on points at the top of La Liga standings - and prone to throwing points away in unusual places - the match itself will not have too much impact in terms of the title race which has a long, long, long, long way to go.
But El Clasico is all about the myriad of subplots. It's an End Game of drama to pack in.
Ernesto Valverde needs a big win against Real Madrid if only to relieve some of the pressure of Barca fans that think the manager is defensive and dull, a resultist without the results and the wrong figure to lead a club that demands both a freewheeling approach to live and trophies.
Leo Messi has been a quiet figure in El Clasicos of late which means that Antoine Griezmann may need to deliver and finally be invited to the weekly brunch session between Luis Suarez and Messi.
A victory could be a milestone for Barcelona in El Clasico in La Liga. Both clubs have 72 wins a piece. A victory for Barca will give the Camp Nou club the edge for the first time ever.
The Sports Burst team of Gabrielle Amado, Ray Hudson and Christian Vieri will be on that Camp Nou pitch at 12PM ET to begin the countdown to kickoff on our beIN SPORTS USA Facebook page.
Real Madrid looks for first El Clasico win in two years
Barcelona taking the lead in La Liga El Clasico wins will depend on Real Madrid losing the match, and recent history in the tie points in this direction.
Madrid have not won the game in over two years, losing four and drawing two of the previous six encounters. Indeed, Madrid have only scored two goals in the past four games against Barcelona.
While Coach Zizou is as safe as houses going into the game - as safe as any Real Madrid manager can be - he hints that his team might be taking a robust approach in the Camp Nou clash.
"We'll start off with 11 against 11, we'll see if it finishes like that," said Zidane talking on Tuesday ahead of the game.
The player that stands the most to win from the match is Gareth Bale who still remains a peripheral figure for Real Madrid this season, with talk of what the Welshman gets up to away from the club making the headlines.
With Eden Hazard injured, Bale could use El Clasico to work his way back into the Real Madrid good books. Not that this may be a priority for the footballer.
"He's training well and is one more player," was the still frosty response from Zizou.
Coverage of El Clasico gets underway live, live, live on beIN SPORTS at 1PM ET with Hope Solo, Gary Bailey, Ray Hudson and Christian Vieri leading the way.
Liverpool looks to set up Flamengo finale in Club World Cup
Alternate Reality Liverpool and Liverpool continue their 24-hour global odyssey of games on Wednesday.
Alternate Reality Liverpool lost out 5-0 on Tuesday night in the English League Cup against Aston Villa, but Liverpool has the chance to bounce back (albeit with different players) in Qatar in the semifinal of the Club World Cup.
The opponents are Mexican outfit, Monterrey, and Jurgen Klopp means business in the game despite being cool on the concept of the mid-season tournament. "We didn't travel 3,000 miles not to show up," declared Klopp in a fairly accurate description of the distance between Liverpool and Doha.
Should Liverpool prevail then the Champions League holders will take on the Copa Libertadores winners, Flamengo, who won through in their own semifinal against Al-Hilal on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, Flamengo has been drawn with Copa Sudamericana winners, Independiente del Valle, in their 2020 Copa Libertadores group.
The Serie A weekend starts on....er....Wednesday with Juventus at struggling Sampdoria due to having to play the Italian Super Cup final against Lazio on Sunday. In Saudi Arabia.
Bayern Munich are in action in the Bundesliga away at Freiburg, a day after a completely nuts 3-3 draw between RB Leipzig and Borussia Dortmund at the top of the table.