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Barcelona v Real Madrid

Benzema or Suarez, Busquets or Casemiro? Barcelona-Real Madrid combined XI

12:30 GMT+3 28/10/2018
Luis Suarez Karim Benzema GFX
Goal puts together a team made up of the best players from either side, but who makes the cut in the absence of Lionel Messi?

On Sunday, the age-old rivalry between Barcelona and Real Madrid will recommence at Camp Nou. 

The Catalans sit one point behind leaders Atletico in the Primera Division table after Saturday's results, but while Madrid find themselves apparently distant in eighth, victory would draw them to within a point of their foes and, temporarily, at least, arrest talk of crisis.

In the build up to the game, though, there are inevitable squabbles over which team has the better squad. Is Luis Suarez superior to Karim Benzema or is Casemiro better than Sergio Busquets?

Here, Goal picks the combined Clasico XI, judging players on current form and availability for the fixture, meaning that Lionel Messi – out with a fractured arm – cannot be picked. 

  • Marc-Andre ter Stegen Barcelona 28092016

    #1 Marc-Andre ter Stegen

    The 26-year-old former Borussia Monchengladbach goalkeeper has gradually become one of the most reliable and most respected goalkeepers in the world game. An underrated presence and makes the cut ahead of Thibault Courtois.

  • Sergi Roberto Barcelona 2018-19

    #2 Sergi Roberto

    Arguably the weakest position on the field in the absence of Real Madrid’s Dani Carvajal, who is injured. Sergi Roberto takes the slot in a position he has grown to become accustomed to over the years.

  • Raphael Varane Real Madrid 2018-19

    #3 Raphael Varane

    He might have had a shocker last weekend against Levante, but by France international centre-back has had a stellar year, in which he has claimed both the Champions League and the World Cup. At just 25, he promises to be a force for years to come.

  • Sergio Ramos Real Madrid 2018-19

    #4 Sergio Ramos

    A player built for the big occasion, Sergio Ramos seems to be there when his team need him, whether it is making a last-ditch challenge, a goal-saving header or a match-winning contribution at the other end of the field.

  • Marcelo, Real Madrid

    #5 Marcelo

    In contrast to the right-back slot, there is plenty of quality on the left, where Marcelo sees off Jordi Alba to take the position. The 30-year-old is widely recognised as being the best in the role in the world and broke his team’s long scoring drought last weekend.

  • Sergio Busquets Barcelona

    #6 Sergio Busquets

    Another position where there was a hot debate, Sergio Busquets takes the jersey, with Casemiro the man to miss out. A quietly impressive performer whose work underpins much of what Barcelona achieve.

  • Luka Modric Real Madrid CSKA UEFA Champions League 02102018

    #7 Luka Modric

    For many, Luka Modric has been the outstanding player in world football during 2018. He played a pivotal role as Real Madrid won the Champions League again then raised his level further as Croatia reached the World Cup final. A must for any team.

  • Ivan Rakitic Philippe Coutinho Barcelona

    #8 Ivan Rakitic

    Like Modric, Ivan Rakitic shone at the World Cup, but his overall level of performance this year has been formidable. Is a player who provides fluidity to his team and dovetails perfectly with his compatriot.

  • Philippe Coutinho Barcelona 2018-19

    #9 Philippe Coutinho

    The Clasico giants are both toiling by their high standards offensively this season, but Barcelona impressed in their 4-2 win over Sevilla last weekend, in which Philippe Coutinho struck the opening goal. Has yet to find his best form since moving to Spain but has four goals for the season.

  • Luis Suarez Barcelona Sevilla La Liga 20102018

    #10 Luis Suarez

    With Real Madrid impotent, Luis Suarez finds himself in the centre-forward role almost by default. He has not hit the heights expected of him yet this season, but with four goals and as many assists, he is still producing the goods for his team.

  • Gareth Bale Real Madrid 2018-19

    #11 Gareth Bale

    Gareth Bales heroics in the Champions League final seemed to have teed him up for a better year at the Bernabeu, but that has not come to fruition. Scored three times in the first three games of the Primera Division season and makes the cut due to a lack of better options.