Line-ups: Barca-Madrid

Gareth Bale surprisingly starts the Clasico for Real Madrid against Barcelona, in what could be BBC's final match together.

Bale's inclusion is a throwback to years gone by as Zinedine Zidane scraps his 4-4-2/4-2-3-1 hybrid and reverts to the 4-3-3 that brought Madrid so much success, spearheaded by the Welshman, Karim Benzema and Cristiano Ronaldo.

Raphael Varane also puts a calf injury behind him to partner Sergio Ramos in central defence, although Isco misses out completely and Dani Carvajal is only a substitute.

Barca, meanwhile, are full-strength as can be, with Philippe Coutinho getting the nod over Ousmane Dembele on the right wing and Andres Iniesta passed fit for his last-ever Clasico.

Referee Alejandro Jose Hernandez Hernandez is no stranger to Clasicos, having overseen Madrid’s 2-1 at Camp Nou in April 2016.

On that occasion, however, he came under fire for not sending Sergio Ramos off sooner, which involved not penalising the defender for a foul on Lionel Messi in the box, and disallowing a seemingly-legitimate Bale goal.

This will be the fifth meeting between the two sides in 2017-18, the pair having locked horns in the International Champions Cup and Supercopa during preseason, with Barca winning the former and Madrid going on to thrash their arch-rivals 5-1 over two legs.

However, the last Clasico in La Liga saw the Catalans come out on top, thrashing their arch-rivals 3-0 in December.

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

Subs: Semedo, Denis, Dembele, Cillessen, Paulinho, Alcacer, Vermaelen

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

Subs: Casilla, Vallejo, Theo, Vazquez, Asensio, Kovacic, Ceballos

Referee: Hernandez Hernandez

Tags El Clasico
La Liga - Club News