LONDON: Real Madrid already have one foot in the quarter-finals of the Champions League after thrashing Schalke 6-1 in the first leg of their last 16 tie in Germany three weeks ago.
However, Los Blancos are looking to head into Sunday’s potentially decisive La Liga clash with Barcelona on a positive note by extending their 30-game unbeaten run in all competitions.
Real boss Carlo Ancelotti is likely to rest a number of first-team regulars with the Barca match in mind with the likes of Isco, Asier Illarramendi and Jese Rodriguez likely to start.
Cristiano Ronaldo, who scored twice in the first leg to take his tally in the Champions League this season to 11 in just six appearances, is expected to be involved though as he targets Lionel Messi’s record for Champions League goals in a season with the 14 he struck in the 2011/12 season.
French defender Raphael Varane should also start and after being plagued by a knee injury throughout the campaign, the 20-year-old believes he is now able to play two consecutive games at a high intensity.