Barcelona have yet to lose at home in La Liga this season, but Xabi Alonso is confident former club Real Madrid can earn the bragging rights in Saturday’s eagerly awaited Clasico showdown.
Luis Enrique’s Barca are top of La Liga, 10 points clear of third-placed Madrid, and have dropped just two points at Camp Nou from 15 home league matches this term.
Barca also battered Madrid 4-0 in November’s reverse contest and many fancy the hosts to come out on top again on home turf.
However, Alonso – who spent five years at the Santiago Bernabeu – insists form goes out the window in El Clasico and pointed to Madrid’s success at Camp Nou under Jose Mourinho in the 2011-2012 season en route to winning the title with 100 points.
“[Madrid] have won a few times in Camp Nou, like in 2012. It was the year we won La Liga with 100 points, but to win the Clasico with a 2-1 in Barcelona felt better. That was a good one to remember for us,” the Bayern Munich midfielder told a news conference.
“It is always an intense game. Although Real are nine or 10 points behind, the Clasico is one of the biggest games in football. It is like a big event.
“Hopefully we can watch a good game and hopefully Madrid will beat Barca. That would be great for the self-esteem and great for the club.”
Madrid’s chances of winning La Liga look slim with just eight matches remaining, but Alonso has earmarked Zinedine Zidane’s men as one of Bayern’s biggest threats in the Champions League.
“Everything can change with the Champions League. For sure it’s a massive goal for them this year, as they know La Liga is very, very difficult to win with the difference Barcelona has right now,” he added.
“But Real Madrid, with the players they have, can beat any team in the world. They can produce so many chances, they can produce such good football.
“For sure, they are one of the main favourites for the Champions League.”