Barcelona have refused to lend Real Madrid a helping hand against Manchester United in their quest for European glory, after they rejected the club's proposal to bring forward their forthcoming El Clasico to a Friday night.
The Daily Telegraph reports how Jose Mourinho's men are set to face Barca in their last La Liga game, before they travel to Old Trafford for the second leg of their Champions League last-16 clash with the Red Devils on March 5.
Mourinho wanted to give his Real Madrid players three clear days to recover for what will probably be the Spanish club's most important game of the season so far, and planned to do so by re-arranging the crunch clash on March 2.
The decision to play the game at 4pm local time (15:00GMT) will at least spare the capital club of turning out in the traditional 10pm Saturday night kick-off, providing a small victory for Real Madrid ahead of their meeting with Manchester United.
The Primera Division match at the Santiago Bernabeu will come just three days after the Spanish rivals meet in the second-leg of Real Madrid and Barcelona's Copa del Rey semi-final clash on February 27, with the tie tentatively poised at 1-1.
Along with the Champions League, the Kings Cup represents Real Madrid's only realistic chance of winning a trophy this season, as they trail Barcelona by 16 points in the league, and also trail city neighbours Atletico Madrid, who currently occupy second place.
Mourinho has admitted he has been let down by his players' lack of professionalism this season, but ahead of tomorrow night's first leg fixture against Manchester United, has called for his squad to rise to the challenge.
"What I felt in my team was a difference of ambition and commitment in relation to last season," explained the 50-year-old. "We didn't react very well to the success of last season.
"We played our best game in the Super Cup against Barca but we have played our worst in matches that we should have won."
Do YOU want to write for GiveMeSport? Get started today by signing-up and submitting an article HERE: http://gms.to/writeforgms