The surprise in Barcelona’s Clásico XI vs Real Madrid
The main question going into the match was in midfield and who would play alongside Frenkie de Jong and Sergio Busquets.
Barcelona head into El Clásico with two key absentees and a surprise inclusion in the starting eleven.
Regular starters Pedri and Ousmane Dembélé are injured and will therefore miss the clash against Real Madrid at Camp Nou.
The main question going into the match was in midfield and who would play alongside Frenkie de Jong and Sergio Busquets in midfield in Pedri’s absence.
Head coach Xavi has opted for the versatile Sergi Roberto, despite Franck Kessié's impressive performance against Madrid at the Santiago Bernabéu.
Barcelona XI vs Real Madrid
The inclusion of Sergi Roberto is the main surprise in Xavi’s team, which is as follows:
Ter Stegen; Araújo, Koundé, Christensen, Balde; Sergi Roberto, Busquets, De Jong; Raphinha, Lewandowski, Gavi.
The Barcelona bench: Peña, Tenas, Marcos Alonso, Kessié, Eric García, Ansu Fati, Ferran Torres, Jordi Alba, Alarcón, Pablo Torre.
Real Madrid XI
Carlo Ancelotti has chosen the following starting XI for El Clásico:
Courtois; Carvajal, Militao, Rüdiger, Nacho; Camavinga, Modric, Kroos; Valverde, Benzema, Vinícius.
Crucial game in LaLiga title race
Real Madrid need a result in Barcelona if they are to keep their title hopes alive. At the time of writing, they sit nine points behind the Blaugrana.