El Clásico teams: Kovacic starts for Real Madrid vs Barcelona

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El Clásico teams: Kovacic starts for Real Madrid vs Barcelona

El Clásico: Kovacic starts for Real Madrid against Barcelona

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Mateo Kovacic comes into the Real Madrid team for Isco, while Sergio Busquets comes back into a Barcelona XI that is as expected
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Zinedine Zidane has brought midfielder Mateo Kovacic into his Real Madrid starting XI for El Clásico against Barcelona today, with Isco dropping to the bench.

Kovacic picked to man-mark Messi

Kovacic's inclusion - foreseeably to man-mark Barça's Lionel Messi - is the only change to the Real side that won the Club World Cup final a week ago.

Meanwhile, the anticipated return of Sergio Busquets to the midfield is the only alteration made by Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde to the team that began last weekend's league victory over Deportivo La Coruña.

Real Madrid vs Barcelona: confirmed El Clásico line-ups

Real Madrid XI: Keylor Navas; Carvajal, Varane, Ramos, Marcelo; Casemiro, Kovacic, Kroos, Modric; Cristiano Ronaldo and Benzema.

Substitutes: Kiko Casilla, Nacho, Bale, Theo, Lucas Vázquez, Asensio and Isco.

Barcelona XI: Ter Stegen; Sergi Roberto, Piqué, Vermaelen, Jordi Alba; Busquets, Rakitic, Iniesta, Paulinho; Messi and Luis Suárez.

Substitutes: Cillessen, Aleix Vidal, Semedo, Mascherano, André Gomes, Denis Suárez and Digne.

Sergio Busquets returns to the Barcelona XI after missing last Sunday's win over Deportivo to avoid being suspended for today's clash with Real Madrid.

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