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El Clasico: How should Barcelona line up against Real Madrid?

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It’s the big one on Saturday

FC Barcelona v Real Madrid - Supercopa de Espana: 1st Leg Photo by Manuel Queimadelos Alonso/Getty Images,

Barcelona head to the Santiago Bernabeu on Saturday for their eagerly-anticipated clash against Real Madrid, in what is both clubs’ final fixture of 2017.

Ernesto Valverde’s side head into the game still unbeaten and with a massive 11 point lead over their rivals, although they have played a game less.

As always, there’s plenty riding on this game, but how will Barca lineup? Let’s have a look...

Defence

Valverde has decisions to make in defence, not least who will start at right-back. Sergio Roberto seems to be first choice at the moment, but Nelson Semedo could return.

In central defence he must also decide who is to partner Gerard Pique. Thomas Vermaelen has been excellent covering for the injured Samuel Umtiti, but Javier Mascherano is also fit and available.

At left-back Jordi Alba should feature, Barca confirmed he trained away from the group on Wednesday, but there’s no indication he is a fitness concern and he may well play a crucial role.

In goal, of course, will be Marc-Andre ter Stegen who has been one of Barca’s outstanding performers this season and will need to be at his best once again.

FC Barcelona v Olympiakos Piraeus - UEFA Champions League Photo by Manuel Queimadelos Alonso/Getty Images

Midfield

It seems as though Valverde will continue with his 4-4-2 against Madrid and if so we can expect Sergio Busquets, Paulinho, Andres Iniesta and Ivan Rakitic to feature.

However, there is a chance Valverde may look to change things up and he could revert to 4-3-3 and go with a winger.

Aleix Vidal has seen plenty of playing time recently, while Sergi Roberto could also play further forward, with Semedo dropping in at right-back.

Barcelona v Deportivo La Coruna - La Liga Photo by Alex Caparros/Getty Images

Attack

Aside from Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez, Valverde has few options with Paco Alcacer and Gerard Deulofeu both injured while Ousmane Dembele will not be risked.

The good news is that Suarez comes into the game in good form and hopefully confident after two goals and a strong showing against Deportivo last time out.

Messi couldn’t find the target last time out, but it wasn’t for the lack of trying, and he will have pretty fond memories of his last Liga visit to the Bernabeu.

Barcelona v Deportivo La Coruna - La Liga Photo by Alex Caparros/Getty Images

Possible starting XI: Ter Stegen, Roberto, Pique, Vermaelen, Alba; Rakitic, Busquets, Paulinho, Iniesta; Messi, Suarez.

How do you think Barca should line up against Real Madrid? Let us know your thoughts and predictions for the game in the comments below!