Had this fixture been in November or December, Real Madrid would have found themselves up against a Real Betis team in fine form. Since then, however, Quique Setien's men have been indifferent and they look unlikely to clinch a win that would take them to within one point of La Liga's top five.
With Messi and Luis Suarez ready for action after being rested for the shock Copa del Rey defeat in midweek, the Barcelona faithful will expect goals against an Eibar side who have struggled for points recently. The visitors drew 4-4 with Levante in December and are still vulnerable at the back.
Barcelona will look to stretch their lead at the top of the table with Sevilla and Atletico Madrid playing each other this week. The league leaders have won their previous four fixtures to nil and despite Getafe's strong season, should be backed to make it five in a row.
A new year and a new man in charge at Real Sociedad, and it does not get much tougher than a trip to the Bernabau to face Real Madrid, who they have not beaten since 2004. The visitors go into the game on the back of four straight defeats and you will fancy Madrid making it five with a big win.
Villarreal's league form suffered due to their Europa League commitments but they are a better team than their league position suggests. Real Madrid will be well rested however and know they cannot afford to lose any more ground on Barcelona so expect the visitors to take all three points.
Barcelona’s defensive casualty list increases, but it has not stopped them opening up a three-point lead at the top of La Liga after three wins in a row with 11 goals scored and none conceded. Do not expect any change here despite Celta de Vigo’s unbeaten three-game run.
2018 has seen quite a seismic turnaround in fortunes for the traditional top two. Few can truly gauge how, or why, Real Madrid have fallen so far from the summit over the past 18 months, but with Barcelona seemingly set for another La Liga title, how will the rest of the season unfold for Spain’s biggest clubs?
With Suarez, Messi and Vidal to come back into Barcelona's starting line-up, Ernesto Valverde will be expecting an improved performance after his side drew 1-1 with Tottenham Hotspur in the Champions League. Barca won 4-0 at Espanyol in their last league outing; expect a similar outcome here.
Real Madrid were way short of their best as they slipped to a 3-0 defeat to CSKA Moskva in the Champions League but Santiago Solari's men will not be approaching their clash with Rayo Vallecano so casually. The visitors can expect to feel the full force of their local rivals' attacking talent here.
There is really only one outcome here and it could get ugly for basement boys Huesca, as Real Madrid have been steadily improving under Santiago Solari. The home side have scored only four goals on home soil all season and it would be a massive shock if they added to that total here.
Espanyol have netted in each of their home league games so far this season and failed to score in only two of their 14 La Liga matches so far this campaign. Barcelona have conceded and scored in 11 of their last 12 La Liga games, so both teams look sure to find the net in this one.
Villarreal are a determined, battling team who will not lie down in the intimidating surrounds of Camp Nou. In Barcelona, they face a side who have conceded goals in all of their last five games, but the form and finesse of Messi should prove enough to swing the game in favour of the hosts.
Valencia are finally starting to click into gear after a tough start but may fall to a third league defeat of the season against a resurgent Real Madrid. Los Blancos have improved under Santiago Solari and can win again assuming they have put their horror display at Eibar from last week behind them.
Real Madrid travel to Eibar in superb form under new boss Santi Solari, who has led them to four successive wins. Madrid's record against Eibar is also stellar, as they have led at both half-time and full-time in seven of their previous eight league meetings, so that trend is likely to continue this weekend.