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SOCCER

El Clásico injury report: which players are sidelined for the Real Madrid vs Barcelona game?

Another chapter of one of the biggest rivalries in soccer takes place this Sunday, as Los Blancos and Barça clash at the Bernabéu with LaLiga’s top spot at stake.

Update:
Another chapter of one of the biggest rivalries in soccer takes place this Sunday, as Real Madrid and Barça will collide with LaLiga’s top spot at stake.

It will be a special LaLiga Gameweek 9 this weekend, as Spanish giants Real Madrid and Barcelona will commence direct battle at the Santiago Bernabéu both aiming to create a gap between them and their rival at the summit of the league.

Both teams are currently tied at the top of the table with 22 points -- amassed from seven victories and one draw -- but Xavi Hernández’s men are sitting first thanks to the goal difference.

Follow the match between Real Madrid - Barcelona here

Even if the Merengues and the Culers are level in the Spanish league, truth is that they will go into El Clásico with a different state of mind, due to matters further afield.

While Carlo Ancelotti’s side is having a pleasant group stage in the Champions League, where they have already qualified for the round of 16, Barça are in shock after failing to beat their key rivals Inter at home, which means they are almost certain to be eliminated from the tournament before the qualifying rounds.

Only a ‘miracle’ would prevent Barça from playing in the Europa League for the second consecutive year, in a season in which the club increased its spending cap by nearly €800 million following the economic levers the club activated to improve their squad.

El Clásico injury report: which players are sidelined for the Real Madrid vs Barcelona game?

Real Madrid vs Barça: who’s missing?

Courtois out for Madrid

Madrid will fight for the three points not only to sit on top of LaLiga, but also to avenge their 0-4 humiliation last year at home to Barcelona, where the Catalans dominated their hosts. Vinicius didn’t start in Warsaw vs Shakhtar Donetsk, but he will be available on Sunday, while Dani Ceballos won’t play at the Bernabéu due to injury.

Meanwhile, Thibaut Courtois, who had been training with his teammates has been ruled out, while Antonio Rüdiger, who was doubtful after suffering a nasty head injury during the clash vs Shakhtar that required 20 stitches, has been given the green light.

Kounde ready for Barça

Meanwhile, Barcelona are in a worse position than Madrid when it comes to injuries. Ronald Araújo, Andreas Christensen, Héctor Bellerín and Memphis Depay are all unavailable through injury.

However, Xavi will be able to call upon the services of Jules Koundé, as the France international has been in the club’s training sessions and seems to have recovered from his injury. Franck Kessié, who already played against Inter on Wednesday, has been the other positive news and will be available against Real.