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Everything you need to know about the Catalans' preparations for the Clasico clash at Camp Nou on Saturday

The time has almost arrived. With their Copa del Rey clash away to Hercules out of the way, Barcelona will now focus their energies exclusively on the visit of Real Madrid in La Liga this weekend.

Barca trail Madrid by six points in the Primera Division after 13 rounds of matches and Saturday's meeting at Camp Nou is therefore a key fixture for Luis Enrique's side, who have drawn their last two league matches (against Malaga at home and Real Sociedad away) and also tied 1-1 at Hercules with a weakened side in the Copa on Wednesday.

However, form often means little in a Clasico and here, Goal takes a look at how the Catalans are shaping up for the famous fixture...


BARCELONA INJURIES


Barcelona have a few injuries at the moment, but only Jeremy Mathieu is definitely sidelined for the Clasico clash, with Jordi Alba, Andres Iniesta and Samuel Umtiti all expected to be available for selection for the game against Real Madrid.

Umtiti returned in the Copa del Rey clash against Hercules on Wednesday night, while Iniesta has been back in training for a while following the knee injury he suffered in late October and should be involved in some capacity on Saturday.

And Alba, who was injured in last Sunday's 1-1 draw at Real Sociedad, is doubtful with ankle and knee problems. However, Barca are optimistic he will be ready for the Clasico. Arda Turan and Aleix Vidal are both back and featured against Hercules in Alicante. 


BARCELONA SUSPENSIONS


Luis Suarez sat out the goalless game against Malaga the weekend before last due to suspension, but the Uruguayan striker was back for the trip to Real Sociedad last Sunday and will feature against Real Madrid on Saturday.

Neymar, meanwhile, is one booking away from a one-match ban, but avoided a yellow card on Sunday that would have seen him miss the Clasico and will start alongside Suarez and Lionel Messi this weekend.

Barca have no players suspended for the Clasico clash.


BARCELONA POTENTIAL STARTING LINE-UP


Barcelona boss Luis Enrique will want to pick his strongest side for the crunch clash with Madrid, but Andres Iniesta is likely to start on the bench after more than five weeks out with the knee injury he sustained in the 3-2 win at Valencia back on October 22. That means Andre Gomes should feature from the outset.

In defence, Samuel Umtiti also looks unlikely to start after making his comeback and looking a little rusty in the 1-1 draw at Hercules in the Copa del Rey on Wednesday night. So Javier Mascherano seems set to be given the nod in central defence alongside Gerard Pique, with Jordi Alba at left-back if he has recovered from his knee and ankle problems. Otherwise, Lucas Digne will play.

The rest of the team is as expected, with Marc-Andre ter Stegen in goal, Sergi Roberto at right-back, Sergio Busquets and Ivan Rakitic in midfield, and Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar in attack.


REAL MADRID DOSSIER


Real Madrid come into the Clasico clash on good form. Zinedine Zidane's side lead La Liga by six points from Barcelona and are unbeaten in all competitions in 2016-17.

Madrid thrashed Segunda B side Cultural Leonesa 6-1 in the Copa del Rey at the Santiago Bernabeu on Wednesday night with their second string and are currently on a run of 32 games without defeat, having not lost since the 2-0 defeat away to Wolfsburg in the Champions League quarter-finals last April.

Zidane will be without the injured Gareth Bale on Saturday, while Toni Kroos and Alvaro Morata are also out and both Fabio Coentrao and Danilo are doubts. However, Casemiro is available again after making his long-awaited comeback from an ankle problem on Wednesday.


BEST OPTA MATCH FACTS


  • Barcelona have lost just three of the last 13 Clasicos they have played at home in all competitions (W7 D3).

  • Should Barcelona win this game, it would be their 50th victory over Real Madrid at home in La Liga.

  • Lionel Messi is the Clasico’s top scorer with 21 goals. However, the Argentine has gone five games without scoring against Real Madrid in all competitions, his worst such run in El Clasico.

  • No Barcelona manager has ever lost two Clasicos in a row at home.


CLASICO TV COVERAGE & KICK-OFF TIME


The Clasico kicks off at 16:15 CET at Camp Nou, which means television viewers in the UK will be unable to watch the fixture live due to FA rules which state that no games can be broadcast between 14:45 and 17:15.

The match will be shown later, from 17:15 UK time, on Sky Sports.

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