The first El Clasico of this season is almost upon us, and both Real Madrid and Barcelona will be looking to get one over on the other when the two sides meet on Saturday.
This is a must win game for Barcelona, as the Spanish champions are already six points behind league leaders Real Madrid. On the other hand, if Los Blancos can win this game, they will have a massive edge in the title race.
Here at Sportslens, we look at how the two sides could shape up tomorrow especially with all the injuries to their key players:
Real Madrid Team News
Zinedine Zidane will be disappointed with the absence of Gareth Bale for such a crucial game. The Welsh international recently underwent a surgery on his ankle and will be out for several weeks. German midfielder, Toni Kroos, and striker, Alvaro Morata, are also sidelined with injury.
Full-backs Fabio Coentrao and Danilo are doubtful for the trip. However, Zidane will not be too concerned with that, especially because his first choice full-backs, Marcelo and Carvajal, are fit.
Casemiro started in Real Madrid’s 6-1 win over Leonesa, and is expected to start here as well. The Brazilian has been a key member of the Real Madrid first team, and his presence will be a major boost for Los Blancos.
Pepe has only returned from injury and is struggling with match fitness issues. Raphaël Varane might start in place of the Portuguese this week. Captain Sergio Ramos escaped a booking in the last game and is available for the Clasico. The Spanish defender is one more booking away from a ban.
Predicted Real Madrid Starting Lineup (4-3-3): Navas; Carvajal, Varane, Ramos, Marcelo; Casemiro, Modric, Kovacic; Ronaldo, Benzema, Vazquez
Barcelona Team News
Barcelona will be without the services of Jeremy Mathieu for the Clasico clash.
However, Luis Enrique will be delighted with the return of Jordi Alba, Andrés Iniesta, and Samuel Umtiti. All three players are expected to feature against Real Madrid.
Turan, Vidal, and Umtiti played against Hercules on Wednesday night and are fit to start here. However, Iniesta has not played since late October and might not start here. Jordi Alba will be assessed closer to kick-off, but the Spanish full-back is expected to be fit.
Predicted Barcelona Starting Lineup (4-3-3): Ter Stegen; Roberto, Pique, Mascherano, Alba; Rakitic, Busquets, Gomes; Messi, Suarez, Neymar
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