Line-ups: Madrid-Barca

Gareth Bale starts for Real Madrid in tonight's Clasico against Barcelona, who go with Paco Alcacer in Neymar's absence.

Bale had missed Madrid's last two games against Sporting Gijon and Bayern Munich with a calf injury, but the Welshman is fast-tracked back into Los Blancos' XI after proving his fitness in time for the clash.

Elsewhere for the hosts, Pepe and Raphael Varane remain sidelined so Nacho Fernandez continues alongside Sergio Ramos in central defence.

Barca, on the other hand, make the bold decision of replacing the suspended Neymar with Alcacer, who scored against Real Sociedad last weekend.

The Blaugrana will line up in a 4-3-3 formation at the Santiago Bernabeu, although they may switch to a 4-3-1-2 during the game, with Lionel Messi moving into the hole behind the former Valencia man and Luis Suarez.

A win for Madrid would see them open a six-point lead on Barca at the top of La Liga with a game in hand, while the Catalans would erase their deficit on Zinedine Zidane's side with victory.

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Real Madrid: Keylor; Carvajal, Nacho, Ramos, Marcelo; Modric, Casemiro, Kroos; Bale, Benzema, Ronaldo

Subs: Casilla, James, Kovacic, Asensio, Morata, Isco, Danilo

Barcelona: Ter Stegen; Sergi Roberto, Pique, Umtiti, Alba; Rakitic, Busquets, Iniesta; Messi, Suarez, Alcacer

Subs: Cillessen, Denis, Arda, Mascherano, Digne, Gomes, Alena

Referee: Hernandez Hernandez

Tags Clasico