Real Madrid vs Barcelona Preview: Spanish La Liga Football Start Time, Team News

Real Madrid will play Barcelona in the Spanish La Liga on Sunday in the latest installment of the El Clasico fixture. Real currently have the advantage and are top of the league, but a win for Barcelona would push them back into the race. The game starts at 4 p.m. ET.

(Photo: Reuters/file)Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates after scoring their second goal against Barcelona in this file photo.

In team news for Real, Gareth Bale is expected to return to the starting 11 for this massive fixture. If Real can win this game then it would almost effectively knock Barcelona out of the title race.

In other news Luka Modric, Angel Di Maria and Karim Benzema are all also expected to start after being rested against Schalke in the Champions League during the week, however, it has been reported that Jese (knee) will miss the rest of the season.

Barcelona meanwhile have a fully fit squad and will be hoping to gain back lost ground against their big rivals.

Welshman Gareth Bale could be a pivotal figure for today's game, and he is increasingly scoring important goals for the Spanish giants, and is setting up as many goals as he is scoring.

(Photo: Reuters/Gustau Nacarino)Barcelona's Lionel Messi (C) controls the ball against Valencia's Gago during their Spanish first division soccer match against Valencia at Nou Camp stadium in Barcelona September 2, 2012.

The partnership he is forming with Cristiano Ronaldo is a deadly one for every opposition team they come up against, and Barcelona will have to find a way to stop the duo if they are to claim the win on the road at the Bernabeu today.

Barcelona goalkeeper Victor Valdes has said about Bale: "I think that at the start he had physical problems due to the fact he didn't have an adequate pre-season, but now he looks very good. He is at an optimal level of fitness and confidence and Madrid are seeing that in his play."

He added, "It is the Gareth Bale we are used to seeing play in England with more efforts on goal and they are also letting him take free-kicks. He is a very dangerous player and Madrid are taking advantage of that."

Real Madrid vs Barcelona will kick off at 4 p.m. ET.