EL CLÁSICO

Zidane's Cultural changes reveal Real Madrid's Clásico starting XI

The Real Madrid manager made various changes to the side that lined up in the midweek Copa del Rey game and the absent names suggest who'll play at Camp Nou. Juventus-Real Madrid live

Zidane's Cultural changes reveal Real Madrid's Clásico starting XI
PEPE ANDRES DIARIO AS

Barcelona - Real Madrid Live

The starting line-up in the cup may help predict the Clásico starters.

If Luis Enrique wants some clues to the Real Madrid side that he's going to be up against on Saturday afternoon, then hopefully he had an eye on Zinedine Zidane's selection for the Copa del Rey match. Against Cultural Leonesa, where the final outcome was assured, the French coach seemed to be clear about protecting the core of his side for el Clásico.

Keeping them fresh

Mateo Kovacic and Francisco Roman Alarcon Isco. Likely to start against Barça.

Left out on Wednesday were Keylor, Ramos, Marcelo, Modric, Kovacic, Lucas Vázquez, Benzema and Cristiano. Expect them all to start against Barcelona. Expected to fill the other three places in the XI at the Camp Nou are Carvajal, Varane and Isco. The two defenders were substituted for each other at half-time and the more recently impressive creative midfielder was also limited to 45 minutes of play, leaving the field at the interval with the Spanish right back.

One of the main questions, however, will be the sharpness of Brazilian, Casemiro. The admired midfielder played 90 minutes in the cup as he looks to get back to his best following a long lay-off. If he can convince Zidane of this then he may take the place of Kovacic, but possibly the big game 

Young guns thrown in

Although some of the youth players did well against Cultural - including hat-trick hero Mariano and Zidane junior getting on the scoresheet - it is unlikely that Zidane will take any chances with his side. He knows that a victory, or even a draw, in the first Clásico of the season could put another dent in the Barça title challenge.