Sergio Busquets makes El Clasico squad, Mascherano set to start

Javier Mascherano Argentina

Barcelona's Sergio Busquets has been given medical clearance to feature in Sunday evening's El Clasico, but it's Javier Mascherano who is expected start.

Barcelona midfielder Sergio Busquets has been given the medical green light to feature in Sunday evening's El Clasico against Real Madrid, but it's the in-form Javier Mascherano who will start.

Barcelona manager Luis Enrique unveiled his El Clasico squad list on Sunday morning, which featured a fully recovered Busquets, who has been out of action for the past three weeks after suffering an ankle injury in his side's Copa del Rey semi-final win over Villarreal.

However, while Busquets' return bolsters Enrique's squad against a struggling Real Madrid side, it is Mascherano who will likely be given the start.

Mascherano has thrived in Busquets' absence and has assumed the verbal leadership that has been missing since Carles Puyol's retirement.

Luis Enrique has also opted to leave Martin Montoya, Sergi Roberto and Jordi Masip out of his 18-man squad.

It could be a crucial selection for the Barca boss tonight, with the hosts knowing that victory at Camp Nou would edge them a step closer to retaining their La Liga title, while putting a serious dent in the aspirations of their fiercest rivals.

Barcelona’s full 18-man squad list is as follows:

Goalkeepers: Marc Andre ter Stegen and Claudio Bravo.

Defenders: Gerard Pique, Marc Bartra, Jordi Alba, Adriano, Dani Alves and Jeremy Mathieu

Midfielders: Javier Mascherano, Sergio Busquets, Ivan Rakitic, Xavi, Andres Iniesta and Rafinha.

Forwards: Pedro, Luis Suarez, Neymar Jr. and Leo Messi.

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