Barcelona go into the first El Clasico of the 2015/16 campaign in the healthiest possible position.
Despite the FIFA-imposed transfer ban still being in place and having to deal with one injury after another, the Catalans are still, somehow, sitting pretty at the top of the La Liga table.
They can even afford to lose this game to Real Madrid and still be joint top, and only second in the table on goal difference, should that scenario occur.
BECOME A WRITER
Do you have what it takes? Sign up today and send over your 250 word test article: http://gms.to/haveyoursay3
Article continues below
Not that Luis Enrique will countenance a loss of course.
A win for the Catalans will open up a huge six-point gap and if Barca could keep that lead until they depart for the Club Word Cup, it will give the club a huge boost - knowing that when they return, Arda Turan and Aleix Vidal can join the party. And anyone else they desire.
Article continues below
Let's take a look at three reasons why the Blaugrana will emerge victorious in this one...
Luis Enrique has this Barca team exactly where he wants them. Each player knows their role inside out and how the same fits into the overall team picture.
As has been seen over the last few weeks, every player has been diligent in carrying out the manager's instructions with Neymar and Luis Suarez, in particular, a delight to watch.
Madrid, on the other hand, are struggling with Rafael Benitez's directives. The manager has never been one to go after the popular vote, but he can't afford a mutiny, especially not before the biggest game of the season.
Barcelona can arrive at the Santiago Bernabeu in the knowledge that there is absolutely no pressure on them for this match, other than the pressure that players put themselves under.
Being the hosts and favourites, Real Madrid will have to step up and provide a level of performance that we've not really seen from Los Blancos over the last few weeks.
Barca can afford to stroke it about and invite Benitez's side to come out of their shell a little. If Ivan Rakitic and Lionel Messi are back, a virtually full-strength Barca will be primed to take advantage.
No Messi, no problem
Even if Messi doesn't make the starting XI or is rested with a view to forthcoming games in mind, the Catalans are well equipped to deal with his absence.
Neymar sits atop the La Liga scoring charts with 11 goals, closely followed by Suarez with nine. The pair simply can't stop scoring and have cultivated a superb partnership in the Argentinian's absence.
Sergio Ramos, in particular, won't enjoy playing against the robust and determined Uruguayan, especially given that he will be carrying the shoulder injury that is being operated on after the game.
A fully fit Ramos would give as good as he gets. Half fit and unable to withstand the usual barrage, he could be a liability for Benitez.
Do YOU want to write for GiveMeSport? Get started today by signing-up and submitting an article HERE: http://gms.to/writeforgms