Quique Setien has reiterated that the El Clasico outcome will not determind the La Liga title.
“It could be a very important day,” the Barcelona head coach said during a news conference on Saturday. “A win would give us a lead. I don’t know if that would be enough – I’m sure it wouldn’t.
“We see very strange things happen in football, but I don’t really trust form too much. In football, you put the past behind you. It’s the present that you’re rewarded on.
“In a Clásico, people tend to forget about the points, positions in the tables. This is a Clasico where both teams always play as hard as they can regardless of the situation they’re in.
“I expect a very tightly contested game, very evenly matched. The question is who gets things right to win the game.”
He added: “For Madrid, it is a vital game – probably much more important than it is for us, because of the situation in the table at the moment and the amount of time that’s left.
“We could pick up a five-point lead, which would be a big step forward. It would leave them with a lot of ground to make up. I don’t like the word decisive, it’s certainly important.”