Barca & Madrid name Clasico squads

Sergio Busquets’ return to the Barcelona squad is the headline team news ahead of tonight’s Clasico.

The midfielder had been sidelined with an ankle injury, sustained during the Catalans’ 3-1 victory over Villarreal in the Copa del Rey semi-finals on March 4, but he has been given the all-clear by the club’s medical staff to feature against Real Madrid.

Elsewhere, Jordi Masip, Martin Montoya, Sergi Roberto and Douglas Pereira have been left behind, while Thomas Vermaelen continues to recover from a long-standing hamstring injury.

Sport anticipate no major surprises in the Barca XI, with Javier Mascherano expected to continue deputising for Busquets in the middle of the park and Jeremy Mathieu likely pipping Marc Bartra to the centre-back berth alongside Gerard Pique.

In the other corner, Madrid have opted for a 20-man squad, two more than the hosts and one which again contains neither Sami Khedira nor Fabio Coentrao for unspecified reasons. James Rodriguez, meanwhile, is their only enforced absence.

Similarly to their Catalan counterpart, Marca believe Madrid will line up with an attack-minded midfield trio of Luka Modric, Toni Kroos and Isco, leaving no room for the more conservative Lucas Silva.

What is for certain, however, is that both the ‘MSN’ of Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar and ‘BBC’ of Gareth Bale, Karim Benzema and Cristiano Ronaldo will take to the Camp Nou pitch this evening.

Kick-off is scheduled for 20:00 GMT tonight, but be sure to follow all the build-up with our LIVE blog an hour earlier.

Barcelona: Bravo, Ter Stegen; Pique, Mathieu, Bartra, Alba, Adriano, Alves; Busquets, Mascherano, Xavi, Rakitic, Iniesta, Rafinha; Messi, Suarez, Neymar, Pedro

Real Madrid: Casillas, Navas, Pacheco; Varane, Pepe, Ramos, Marcelo, Carvajal, Arbeloa, Nacho; Kroos, Bale, Silva, Modric, Isco, Illarramendi; Ronaldo, Benzema, Chicharito, Jese.

Referee: Mateu Lahoz

Tags Clasico Sergio Busquets