Confirmed Real Madrid v Barcelona lineups: Messi on the bench, Bale starts

Bernabeu Inside

Here is how Real Madrid and Barcelona line up for this evening's game...

The first El Clasico of the season is upon us this evening as Barcelona travel to the Spanish capital to take on their fierce rivals Real Madrid.

Real lost their last game against Sevilla before the international break, but had racked up three victories in a row before that defeat.

Rafael Benitez's men sit second in the table, just three points behind leaders Barcelona as the two sides meet tonight.

Tonight, Benitez has called upon all his big names, with Sergio Ramos partnering Raphael Varane in the heart of defence, whilst Toni Kroos, Luka Modric and James Rodriguez will play in midfield.

The front three of Gareth Bale, Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema will be looking to find the back of the net against Barca, having been so dangerous in La Liga over the years.

Barcelona come in to the game having won five of their last six games, and sit top of the La Liga table under Luis Enrique.

Much of the build-up to the game has surrounded Lionel Messi's participation in the game, given that the Argentine has been out injured recently.

Messi is back for this game, but is only deemed to be fit enough for the bench, giving Enrique the perfect weapon to use off the bench if he needs it.

The back four of Dani Alves, Gerard Pique, Javier Mascherano and Dani Alves is a familiar one, whilst Sergio Busquets, Andres Iniesta and Ivan Rakitic also continue their partnership in midfield.

Sergi Roberto appears set to play on the right hand side of Barcelona's front three despite primarily being a central midfielder, so much of the attacking responsibility will fall on the shoulders of Luis Suarez and Neymar - unless Messi does come on...

Real lineup

Starting:

  • Keylor Navas
  • Danilo
  • Marcelo
  • Sergio Ramos
  • Raphaël Varane
  • Gareth Bale
  • Toni Kroos
  • Luka Modrić
  • James Rodríguez
  • Karim Benzema
  • Cristiano Ronaldo

Substitutes: Kiko Casilla, Dani Carvajal, Pepe, Casemiro, Isco, Mateo Kovačić, Jesé.

Barcelona lineup

Starting:

  • Claudio Bravo
  • Jordi Alba
  • Dani Alves
  • Gerard Piqué
  • Sergio Busquets
  • Andrés Iniesta
  • Javier Mascherano
  • Ivan Rakitić
  • Sergi Roberto
  • Neymar
  • Luis Suárez

Substitutes: Marc-André ter Stegen, Adriano, Jérémy Mathieu, Thomas Vermaelen, Munir El Haddadi, Lionel Messi, Sandro Ramírez.

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