TEAM NEWS: Bale starts for Real Madrid against Barcelona

The Welshman's Clasico debut will come from the start as Karim Benzema drops to the substitutes' bench at Camp Nou
Gareth Bale has been named in Real Madrid's starting XI for their crucial Clasico clash against Barcelona at Camp Nou.

Karim Benzema has been dropped from the side by Carlo Ancelotti which means Cristiano Ronaldo looks likely to play in a central role flanked by Bale and the in-form Angel Di Maria.

Sergio Ramos could be set to play in a surprise midfield anchor role after he was named in the team along with Pepe and Raphael Varane.

For the hosts, Neymar makes his first Clasico appearance since signing from Santos in the summer, while Cesc Fabregas also plays in a more advanced role, meaning there is no place in the side for Alexis Sanchez or Pedro.

Gerard Pique starts in defence alongside Javier Mascherano for Barcelona, with Carles Puyol is named on the bench despite making his comeback from injury against Osasuna last weekend.

Real Madrid starting XI: Lopez, Carvajal, Pepe, Varane, Marcelo; Ramos, Khedira; Bale, Modric, Di Maria, Ronaldo.

Substitutes: Casillas, Coentrao, Benzema, Arbeloa, Jese, Isco, Illarramendi.

Barcelona starting XI: Valdes, Alves, Pique, Mascherano, Adriano; Busquets, Xavi, Iniesta; Messi, Fabregas, Neymar.

Substitutes: Pinto, Montoya, Song, Puyol, Sergi Roberto, Pedro, Alexis.