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Barcelona announce 23-man squad for El Clasico against Real Madrid

Antoine Griezmann (R) and Lionel Messi of FC Barcelona
Antoine Griezmann (R) and Lionel Messi of FC Barcelona
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Modified 24 Oct 2020, 12:56 IST
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Barcelona have registered a 23-man squad for the all-important El Clasico clash against arch rivals Real Madrid later tonight.

Goalkeepers: Neto, Iñaki Peña, Arnau Tenas

Defenders: Sergino Dest, Gerard Piqué, Ronald Araujo, Clement Lenglet, Jordi Alba, Sergi Roberto, Junior Firpo

Midfielders: Sergio Busquets, Carles Alena, Miralem Pjanic, Riqui Puig, Philippe Coutinho, Pedri, Frenkie De Jong

Attackers: Antoine Griezmann, Martin Braithwaite, Lionel Messi, Ousmane Dembele, Francisco Trincao, Ansu Fati

First choice goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen is still out with a knee injury while centre-back Samuel Umtiti is also unavailable due to a similar prognosis.

However, the Blaugrana will be delighted that influential left back Jordi Alba is fit to be selected and is expected to start the game.

Predicted XI (4-2-3-1): Neto, Sergino Dest, Gerard Pique, Clement Lenglet, Jordi Alba; Frenkie de Jong, Sergio Busquets; Lionel Messi, Philippe Coutinho, Ansu Fati; Antoine Griezmann

Barcelona still searching for consistency in Koeman era

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Ronald Koeman has not been afraid to shake up the status quo at Barcelona ever since replacing former coach Quique Setien.

The former Barcelona defender has moved on senior pros like Luis Suarez, Arturo Vidal and Ivan Rakitic in order to afford youngsters more opportunities.

Ansu Fati, especially, seems be thriving under Koeman having played in all of Barcelona's games this season. He has also been the club's star performer in La Liga, scoring 3 goals and assisting 1 more in 4 games.

Another player who seems to be playing an improved brand of football under Koeman is Philippe Coutinho.

Loaned out to Bayern Munich last season, Coutinho has returned to a clean slate at the Nou Camp under a manager who considers him vital to his plans.

However, it hasn't been all smooth-sailing for the Dutch coach either.

Antoine Griezmann is yet to find his feet at Barcelona and his struggles have continued under Koeman too.

The French forward has not managed to either score or lay on an assist despite featuring in 4 La Liga games so far this season.

Lionel Messi's form has also come under the scanner as the Argentine talisman has only managed 1 league goal in 4 appearances.

Barcelona would be hoping that their number 10 comes good in an El Clasico which is shaping up as a must-win for both sides.

Published 24 Oct 2020, 12:56 IST
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