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Real Madrid vs Barcelona: Team news, lineups for El Clásico

Saturday’s El Clásico may well decide the destination of the La Liga title!

SNS | New Delhi |

Real Madrid host eternal rivals Barcelona in the latest edition of El Clásico at the Santiago Bernabeu on Saturday and the lineups for the clash between the La Liga giants have been revealed.

 

Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane has, unsurprisingly, opted to start his first-choice defence for the clash with La Blaugrana.

Keylor Navas, Dani Carvajal, Raphael Varane, Sergio Ramos and Marcelo all feature behind a four-man midfield of Toni Kroos, Mateo Kovacic, Luka Modric and Casemiro.

Up top, star man Cristiano Ronaldo has shrugged of an injury concern to start alongside Karim Benzema with Gareth Bale, Isco and Sergio Asensio warming the bench.

 

For Barcelona, Marc-Andre ter Stegen retains his place in goal and has a  four-man defence of Thomas Vermaelen, Sergi Roberto, Jordi Alba and Gerard Pique in front of him.

Iniesta starts in midfield with Sergio Busquets and Ivan Rakitic for company while Paulinho plays just behind the formidable duo of Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi.

Interestingly, club-record signing Ousmane Dembele has not made the bench, despite having rejoined first-team training last week.

Barcelona, who have played 16 games, lead the La Liga rankings with a points tally of 42 points. Real Madrid, who have played a game less due to their involvement in the FIFA Club World Cup, trail the Catalans by 11 points.

The pressure, thus, is on Los Blancos to register a win on Saturday, but despite the obvious gap between the two, Barcelona will not take it easy and are unlikely to settle for a draw as well.

Real Madrid: Navas, Carvajal, Ramos (c), Varane, Ronaldo, Kroos, Benzema, Modric, Marcelo, Casemiro and Kovacic.

Barcelona: Ter Stegen, Pique, Busquets, Iniesta (c), Suarez, Rakitic, Messi, Paulinho, Alba, Roberto and Vermaelen.

Match kicks-off at 1200 GMT/17.30 PM IST.