EL CLASICO TEAM NEWS: Frenkie de Jong and Jules Kounde start for Barcelona

Barcelona are at the Santiago Bernabeu to take on arch rivals Real Madrid in a top of the table clash on Sunday afternoon. The pair are separated by just goal difference and while the match might not yet be decisive, it can certainly shape both seasons.

In their usual fashion, Real Madrid released their team well in advance of the match and it included no surprises. There was some suggestion that Rodrygo Goes might have earned a starting place, but Los Blancos have gone with their usual line-up in big matches from last season. The only change is Aurelien Tchouameni, who starts his first El Clasico.

Dani Ceballos and Thibaut Courtois are out with injury, but Antonio Rudiger does make the bench.

There were considerably more questions over the Barcelona’s line-up. Jules Kounde has returned to the starting XI, although they are still missing Hector Bellerin, Andreas Christensen, Ronald Araujo and Memphis Depay.

He begins in the back four and it looks like in the centre of defence. Eric Garcia partners Kounde, with youngster Alejandro Balde on the left and Sergi Roberto on the right.

In midfield, Frenkie de Jong is back in the starting line-up for the first time since his injury in the international break, replacing Gavi.

Xavi Hernandez has selected his trusted front three that played against Bayern Munich and Inter of Ousmane Dembele, Robert Lewandowski and Raphinha.

Real Madrid: Lunin; Carvajal, Militao, Alaba, Mendy; Modric, Tchouameni, Kroos; Valverde, Benzema, Vinicius.

Barcelona: Ter Stegen; Roberto, Kounde, Eric, Balde; De Jong, Busquets, Pedri; Raphinha, Lewandowski, Dembele.

Tags Barcelona El Clasico Real Madrid
La Liga - Club News