While Barcelona do not have any serious injury concerns ahead of their clash against Real Madrid, defenders Jeremy Mathieu and Adriano are expected to be unavailable for the fixture.
Luis Enrique is likely to field a strong starting lineup at Camp Nou and his preparations haven’t been hampered by any serious injury concern prior to the match. Jordi Alba suffered a knock with the Spanish national team but is reportedly fit to start against Real Madrid. However, the Catalans will be without Adriano and Jeremy Mathieu who suffered a knee injury with the French national team.
According to Marca, the defender is likely to be ruled out for six to eight weeks as he underwent a surgical procedure for a meniscus injury in his right knee. However, it is unlikely that he will be sorely missed by the squad as Luis Enrique is expected to field Gerard Pique and Javier Mascherano at the heart of the defence. Dani Alves and Jordi Alba are expected to partner them with Claudio Bravo playing between the posts.
Luis Suarez, Neymar and Lionel Messi have returned fit from their international commitments and are reportedly ‘crazy for victory’ against arch rivals Real Madrid. As reported by Marca, the manager heaped praise on Lionel Messi as he asked for the fans to ‘go crazy’ at Camp Nou.
“This player [Messi] is from another galaxy.
“I have seen the face of Leo and the others and they are crazy for victory.”
“Leo and the others and they are crazy for victory.”
Luis Enrique went on to claim that a win at Camp Nou would be a final blow to Zidane’s title ambitions this season, leaving the Catalans only to deal with Atletico Madrid who they also face in the Champions League quarterfinals.
Ivan Rakitic and Iniesta are expected to start in the midfield with Sergio Busquets who will play in a defensive role in the midfield.
Having won the first El Clasico in a dramatic fashion, a second successive win against Real Madrid will open up a 13 point difference between the two teams in the La Liga. Luis Enrique also claimed that Johan Cryuff would want the team to win by putting up a good show.