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FC Barcelona News: 18 December 2019; El Clasico Day!

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FC Barcelona v Real Madrid CF - La Liga Photo by Alex Caparros/Getty Images

Barcelona vs. Real Madrid preview: Expect a much tighter Clasico than we’ve seen in recent years | ESPN
It is the greatest match in the history of organised football: Barcelona vs. Real Madrid. Nicknamed “El Clasico,” it is a battle that encompasses all the flair, daring, skill, enmity, sporting and social significance that can possibly be bottled into a 90-minute footballing fixture.

The squad for El Clásico | FC Barcelona
Barça welcome a Real Madrid side level on points with them at the top of the table, but with the Blaugranes above them on goal difference. For this match, which will be played at 8.00pm CET, Ernesto Valverde has called up 18 players. They are: Ter Stegen, N. Semedo, Piqué, I. Rakitic, Sergio, Suárez, Messi, Neto, Lenglet, Griezmann, Jordi Alba, Aleñá, S. Roberto, F. De Jong, Vidal, Umtiti, C. Pérez and Ansu Fati.

Messi, a match to equal Xavi’s El Clásico record | FC Barcelona
Leo Messi keeps breaking records. The Argentine star can match Xavi Hernández as the Barça player with the most games played against Real Madrid in this Wednesday’s Clásico, with 42. Messi is the active Barça player with the most Clásico’s played, and is only surpassed by Real Madrid’s Sergio Ramos, with 43.

Ernesto Valverde: Clásico win would be big step forward | FC Barcelona
Preparations for Wednesday’s Clásico between FC Barcelona and Real Madrid continue with the two teams level on points in La Liga ahead of the game at Camp Nou. Coach Ernesto Valverde appeared before the press on Tuesday: “This year the league is really tight and El Clásico is always close no matter the form of the two teams coming into it.”

Xavi, Iniesta and now De Jong? Barcelona’s new midfield maestro could torment Madrid for years | Goal
Frenkie de Jong is preparing for his first Clasico with Barcelona and it feels like the moment he has been building towards for years, having received his football education in his native Netherlands, first at Willem II, and then Ajax, a club synonymous with the Blaugrana because of their shared histories and footballing philosophies.

Barcelona: Arturo Vidal fury at El Clasico exclusion | Football Espana
Barcelona midfielder Arturo Vidal ‘stormed out’ of training after learning he would not start in El Clasico, report ESPN. The Chilean midfielder has started just five matches across all competitions for the Blaugrana despite scoring in four different matches in La Liga to date and is said to feel unappreciated.

Varane: You can’t defend ‘special’ Messi like a normal opponent | Goal
Treating Barcelona captain Lionel Messi like a normal opponent will only end in El Clasico misery for Real Madrid, Raphael Varane has warned. France international Varane and his fellow Madrid defenders will have their hands full when they square off against Barca’s expensively assembled front three for the first time on Wednesday.

Zidane names 19-man squad for Wednesday’s Clasico vs. Barça | Sport
Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane has called up 19 players for Wednesday’s Clasico against Barcelona at Camp Nou. The only player to come into the squad who didn’t travel to Valencia on Sunday for the 1-1 draw at Mestalla is Ferland Mendy, who was suspended for that game.

El Clasico protests: “The most important game is in the streets” | Football Espana
Catalan separatist organisations have confirmed protests ahead of tonight’s El Clasico: “Hello world, tonight Tsunami has a message for you”. It has long been rumoured that Tsunami Democratic are planning widespread disruption for the rescheduled El Clasico date, with a record 3,000 security officers employers for the clash, with this statement released on Wednesday morning.