There's a treat in the La Liga calendar on Sunday, as Real Madrid travel to Barcelona for the first instalment of El Clasico this season.
2021/22 has so far been a pleasant surprise for Real Madrid, following a silverware drought last term. Carlo Ancelotti's side sit three points behind current La Liga-toppers Real Sociedad (with a game in hand) and, following the disappointment of their first two defeats of the campaign immediately prior to the international break, Tuesday night's 5-0 trouncing of Shakhtar Donetsk away from home was an incredibly encouraging performance to bounce back.
That outing will have no doubt struck fear into Barcelona, who go into El Clasico having started the campaign in depressingly mediocre fashion. Here's who Ancelotti could field to come out on top in this gargantuan fixture.
Real Madrid predicted lineup vs Barcelona
1. Goalkeeper & Defenders
Thibaut Courtois (GK) - Put in another good performance to keep a clean sheet at Shakhtar, and will invariably feature between the sticks for his seventh Clasico.
Lucas Vazquez (RB) - Fared very well deputising once again at right-back on Tuesday night and, with Dani Carvajal still likely to miss out, Vazquez could be in line for another start there.
Eder Militao (CB) - Has really stepped up this campaign and is doing that esteemed number three shirt justice with commanding and stoic performances.
David Alaba (CB) - A smooth operator, Alaba's composure and quality on the ball could be vital in breaking through Barcelona's midfield and forward line pressing on Sunday.
Ferland Mendy (LB) - His return to action may be managed but, having looked sharp and excellent for 70 minutes on Tuesday night, he may be in line for another start.
Casemiro (DM) - Such an effortlessly imposing presence at the base of midfield and crucial to the expressive nature of his midfield partners.
Federico Valverde (CM) - Both Luka Modric and Toni Kroos played 80 minutes in midweek, so the bundle of electric energy that is Valverde could come in to get a firm grip of the midfield battle. Having said that, don't bet against Modric featuring for his 400th Real Madrid appearance.
Toni Kroos (CM) - The German may be favoured over his veteran Croatian colleague in order to spot the raking passes that could take advantage of the space behind Barcelona's high line and marauding full-backs.
Rodrygo (RW) - Having an excellent Champions League campaign thus far, scoring two in three, although will hope to get his La Liga account off and running sooner rather than later.
Karim Benzema (ST) - 11 goals and eight assists in 11 games across all competitions this season. Only Alfredo De Stefano, Raul and Cristiano Ronaldo have now scored more goals for Los Blancos. He's not just an option, but a necessity for Ancelotti's side.
Vinicius Jr (LW) - Coming of age in the glorious white of Real Madrid with a sensational start to the season. Undroppable in this vein of form, boasting seven goals and five assists in his 11 appearances across all competitions this campaign.