Barcelona name 23-man squad for El Clasico clash against Real Madrid

Xavi has a strong squad at his disposal for the El Clasico
Xavi has a strong squad at his disposal for the El Clasico
Alan John

Barcelona boss Xavi has named a 23-man squad for the El Clasico clash against Real Madrid on Sunday.

The Blaugrana have been on an impressive run recently as they're unbeaten in 11 games and find themselves fourth on the La Liga table with two games in hand on third-placed Atletico Madrid. They also progressed to the quarterfinals of the Europa League.

Xavi will now look to keep the momentum going with a win in the El Clasico against arch-rivals Real Madrid. He has called upon 23 players to his squad for the trip to the Bernabeu.

Goalkeepers: 1. Marc-André ter Stegen, 13. Neto, 36. Arnau Tenas

Defenders: 3. Gerard Piqué, 4. Ronald Araujo, 8. Dani Alves, 15. Clément Lenglet, 18. Jordi Alba, 22. Óscar Mingueza, 24. Eric García

Midfielders: 5. Sergio Busquets, 6. Riqui Puig, 14. Nico González, 16. Pedri, 21. Frenkie De Jong, 30. Gavi

Forwards: 7. Ousmane Dembélé, 9. Memphis Depay, 11. Adama Traoré, 12. Martin Braithwaite, 17. Luuk De Jong, 19. Ferran Torres, 25. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang

Barcelona will miss Sergino Dest, Ansu Fati, Sergi Roberto, Samuel Umtiti and Alejandro Balde for the El Clasico.

Real Madrid will be without Karim Benzema for the El Clasico against Barcelona

Real Madrid's star striker Karim Benzema will miss the all-important El Clasico clash against Barcelona on Sunday.

The 34-year-old Frenchman has been ruled out after he sustained a calf injury during the second half of the 3-0 victory against Mallorca.

Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti, however, said the injury comes at a good moment for the team as Benzema can recover during the international break and be fit for the rest of the season.

"I think this injury [for Benzema] comes at a good moment, since we now have the two weeks of the international break for him to recover," Ancelotti said. "He'll be back stronger for the rest of the campaign."

He also had his say on possible alternatives for the Frenchman in the El Clasico against Barcelona.

"Bale is an alternative to Benzema, as is Mariano, Jovic, Isco and Rodrygo," Ancelotti said ahead of the game, "There are a lot of options but I will choose the one I think is best for this match."

However, the possible replacements do not have the same numbers as Benzema, who has racked up 22 goals for Real Madrid in La Liga this season.

The absence of the forward could prove to be a major factor in deciding the winner of the El Clasico on Sunday.

Edited by Alan John


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