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Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 September 2018

Real Madrid to take on Barcelona in first clasico of 2017/18 on December 23

The Primera Liga champions face a quick turnaround after playing at the Club World Cup in Abu Dhabi as they host their arch-rivals at the Bernabeu seven days after action ends in UAE.

Real Madrid's Sergio Ramos and Barcelona's Lionel Messi tussle for the ball during the Spanish Super Cup in August. The two teams will meet in the first el Clasico of the 2017/18 season on December 23. Curto de la Torre / AFP
Real Madrid's Sergio Ramos and Barcelona's Lionel Messi tussle for the ball during the Spanish Super Cup in August. The two teams will meet in the first el Clasico of the 2017/18 season on December 23. Curto de la Torre / AFP

Primera Liga president Javier Tebas confirmed on Monday that the first clasico of the season between Real Madrid and Barcelona will be played on December 23 at 1pm (4pm UAE time).

The clash was expected to take place on December 20 as part of a full mid-week round of fixtures before Spain's winter break.

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However, given Real could feature in the Club World Cup final in Abu Dhabi on December 16, the European champions have been given extra recovery time.

"It will be played on Saturday 23rd at 1300. That is what we have told the television companies," Tebas told Onda Cero radio.

"That week, given it is Christmas time we will have a very special round of fixtures with games on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday."

Due to Primera Liga's ambition of rivalling the Premier League's interest around the world and getting television rights deals to match, Tebas has engineered radical changes to kick-off times in Spain with Asian audiences in mind.

Real's 1-1 draw with Levante on Saturday lunchtime went head-to-head with Manchester City's Premier League clash against Liverpool in a sign of intent.

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