NEWS
Sunday October 7 2012
Clasico probable line-ups

Both teams have selection doubts ahead of the Clasico tonight, but Barcelona seemingly more so than Real Madrid.

The Catalan hosts are believed certain on eight of the likely XI starters for tonight’s match with Los Blancos.

Victor Valdes, Dani Alves, Javier Mascherano, Sergio Busquets, Xavi Hernandez, Alexis Sanchez, Lionel Messi and Pedro Rodriguez are understood to be certainties to line up for Tito Vilanova at 7.50pm local time at the Camp Nou.

However, alongside question marks on Gerard Pique’s fitness, with Alex Song ready to step in otherwise, uncertainty surrounds whether Jordi Alba or Adriano will be preferred at left-back, and whether Andres Iniesta has had enough game time after injury to displace Cesc Fabregas.

Meanwhile, Jose Mourinho’s side look more settled for this 14th Clasico since the start of 2010-11, with selection doubts seemingly only held over who will occupy the No 10 position behind Karim Benzema in attack.

Benzema is believed ahead of Gonzalo Higuain to take the No 9 role, with Angel Di Maria and Cristiano Ronaldo seen as certainties alongside him.

Interestingly, if Mourinho opts for Mesut Ozil over Ricky Kaka and Luka Modric, then the predicted line-up for the visitors will list 10 of the 11 men who began the 5-0 defeat at Camp Nou in November 2010.

UPDATE: Pique missed Sunday's early afternoon training session, indicating that he miss the game and that Song will deputise in his place.

Probable line-ups

Barcelona: Valdes; Alves, Mascherano, Song, Alba; Busquets, Xavi, Iniesta; Alexis, Messi, Pedro

Real Madrid: Casillas; Arbeloa, Pepe, Ramos, Marcelo; Xabi Alonso, Khedira; Di Maria, Ozil, Ronaldo; Benzema

Football Italia website