El Clasico: Real Madrid take on struggling Catalan giants, Barcelona
- Real Madrid and Barcelona play at the King Fahd International Stadium, in Riyadh
- Dani Carvajal is back from injury and part of the squad
- Frenkie de Jong, Ansu Fati, Ronald Araujo are all match fit
It is El Clasico night as Real Madrid go up against Barcelona in yet another anticipated clash. This time the Los Blancos and the Catalans will be playing at the King Fahd International Stadium, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
When the legendary rivals faced off in October 2021, Real Madrid walked away with a 2-1 victory, defeating Barcelona at their home, Camp Nou. Since then, the two clubs have had drastically different trajectories.
Real Madrid enjoyed a nine-game undefeated streak since the last encounter, which went on for 15 matches, until their impressive feat was quashed in the Getafe encounter, on January 2, where the Los Blancos lost 1-0.
Meanwhile, Barcelona have struggled under the management of their legendary midfielder, Xavi Hernandez. Currently, they sit outside the top five on the La Liga table.
Injuries and suspensions
As far as injuries are concerned, Dani Carvajal returned for team training and is match ready. Luka Jovic, who tested positive for coronavirus last month, is back in action too. However, Gareth Bale remains out for an unspecified issue and Mariano will miss the match due to an injury.
Barcelona had some key players sitting out due to injuries. This includes Frenkie de Jong, Ansu Fati, and Ronald Araujo. However, all of them have travelled to Riyadh, and have been medically cleared for the match against Madrid. Pedri didn't travel with the team at all, and Eric Garcia is out for a month with an injury. The squad can also rely on Alejandro Balde, Sergino Dest, and Gavi, who have all returned after being out with coronavirus infections. Neither of the teams have any suspensions.
Real Madrid: Courtois, Carvajal, Militao, Nacho, Mendy, Modric, Casemiro, Kroos, Asensio, Benzema, Vinicius
Barcelona: ter Stegen, Alves, Araújo da Silva, Pique, Alba, de Jong, Busquets, Gavi, Dembele, de Jong, Torres