The next Barcelona match is upon us! The Greatest Game in the Game is back as Barça face Real Madrid in the first El Clásico of the season at the Montjuïc Olympic Stadium in a giant La Liga contest, and Xavi Hernández has called up the following 23 players for Saturday’s clash:
Goalkeepers: 1. Marc-André ter Stegen, 13. Iñaki Peña, 26. Ander Astralaga
Defenders: 2. João Cancelo, 3. Alejandro Balde, 4. Ronald Araujo, 5. Iñigo Martínez, 15. Andreas Christensen, 17. Marcos Alonso, 23. Jules Kounde, 33. Pau Cubarsí, 38. Héctor Fort
Midfielders: 6. Gavi, 18. Oriol Romeu, 22. Ilkay Gündogan, 30. Marc Casadó, 32. Fermín López
Forwards: 7. Ferran Torres, 9. Robert Lewandowski, 11. Raphinha, 14. João Félix, 27. Lamine Yamal, 38. Marc Guiu
There are three big surprises in the squad as Robert Lewandowski, Raphinha and Jules Kounde have found a way to return from their injuries in time for El Clásico. We don’t expect any of the three to start or play big minutes, but their presence on the bench alone is a big boost and a testament to their hard work and desire to be available for such a big game. Frenkie de Jong (ankle) and Pedri (thigh) also tried to give it a go but ultimately couldn’t get the medical green light, and they will miss out on the Clásico along with Sergi Roberto (calf).
Predicted starting XI (4-4-2):
Ter Stegen; Araujo, Christensen, Iñigo, Balde; Cancelo, Gündogan, Gavi, Fermín; Ferran, Félix
The match kicks off at 4.15pm CET (Barcelona), 3.15pm BST/WAT (UK & Nigeria), 10.15am ET, 7.15am PT (USA), 7.45pm IST (India), and you can join us to follow and comment all the action.
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