MX23RW : Saturday, January 19 04:56:50
Oct 28, 2018 at 3.15pm UK at ​Camp Nou (Barcelona)
Attendance: 93,265
Barcelona
5-1
Real Madrid
Coutinho (11'), Suarez (30' pen., 75', 83'), Vidal (87')
FT(HT: 2-0)
Marcelo (50')

How Barcelona could line up against Real Madrid

Sports Mole looks at how Barcelona could line up in Sunday's El Clasico at home to Real Madrid.

Barcelona will be looking to move seven points clear of Real Madrid in La Liga when the two teams meet in El Clasico at Camp Nou on Sunday afternoon.

Barcelona have dropped points in four of their nine league fixtures this season, but currently top the division, four points ahead of seventh-placed Real Madrid.

The corresponding match last season finished in a 2-2 draw, but Barcelona have only lost one of the last seven La Liga meetings between the two teams.

Here, Sports Mole takes a look at how the home side could line up against their bitter rivals at Camp Nou.


POSS BARXI

Out: Thomas Vermaelen (hamstring), Lionel Messi (fractured arm), Samuel Umtiti (knee)

The fact that Lionel Messi will miss out for Barcelona with a fractured arm brings up an interesting selection dilemma for head coach Ernesto Valverde.

Luis Suarez will, of course, lead the home side's attack, but it remains to be seen what happens around the centre-forward. Fellow South American Philippe Coutinho should start in a forward area, while Ousmane Dembele will be the player hoping to most profit from Messi's absence.

Rafinha made a strong case to be selected with a goal against Inter Milan in the Champions League on Wednesday night, however, and the Brazilian could find himself in the final third with Suarez and Coutinho.

A more conservative approach, however, would be to introduce another midfielder, with Arturo Vidal an experienced option, although that might be seen as too disruptive of Valverde's preferred formation, and there is no question that Ivan Rakitic, Sergio Busquets and Arthur will all start.

It is less complicated in a defensive position, with injuries to Thomas Vermaelen and Samuel Umtiti helping Clement Lenglet keep his spot at centre-back alongside Gerard Pique, while Sergi Roberto should again edge out Nelson Semedo to start on the right of the back four.

> Click here to see how Real Madrid could line up for this fixture

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Barcelona midfielder Philippe Coutinho celebrates with Lionel Messi after scoring the opening goal in his side's Champions League clash with Tottenham Hotspur on October 3, 2018
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Barcelona19134253203343
2Atletico MadridAtletico19108127131438
3Sevilla1996431201133
4Real Madrid1910362824433
5AlavesAlaves209562223-132
6Getafe208752516931
7Real Betis197572223-126
8Real Sociedad197482322125
9GironaGirona195952123-224
10Espanyol197392127-624
11Valencia1941141717023
12Levante196583035-523
13Athletic Bilbao1941052025-522
14EibarEibar195772128-722
15Leganes195771721-422
16Real Valladolid195771721-422
17Celta Vigo195683132-121
18Rayo Vallecano1954102234-1219
19Villarreal193882025-517
20Huesca1925121736-1911

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