Alejandro Moreno explains why Lionel Messi will be the X-factor in El Clasico after a difficult match against Deportivo.

ESPN FC is “OnScene” at the world’s biggest club football game: Real Madrid vs. Barcelona, which kicks off on Dec. 23 at 12 p.m. GMT / 7 a.m. ET.

Barcelona go into this weekend’s Clasico with a six-point lead at the top of the La Liga and an 11 point lead over Madrid, albeit having played a game more… But a Madrid win (after their success at the Club World Cup) would open up the title race again. 

Here’s all the latest buildup from the ESPN team and our correspondents Sam Marsden (Barcelona) and Dermot Corrigan (Real Madrid).

TUESDAY, Dec. 19

Barcelona and Real Madrid both have issues to fix

Ousmane Dembele is back in training after he was ruled out for four months, but he won’t be fit in time for Clasico. Here are five issues for Barcelona.

Real Madrid HAVE to win, while the future of Cristiano Ronaldo is up for debate. Here are five issues for Real Madrid.

WATCH: Messi wants a ‘happy Christmas’

Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi says that it is always a special occasion to play El Clasico at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Barcelona clean up at awards

No guard of honour

Barcelona director of institutional relations Guillermo Amor says the club will not be giving a guard of honour to Club World Cup winners Real Madrid before Saturday’s La Liga Clasico at the Santiago Bernabeu.

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