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Spanish Inquisition: Barcelona & Real Madrid - Who Has The Better First XI Now?

With so much money having been spent in Spanish football already this summer - well, at the top of the table, at least - the teams are starting to take shape ahead of the new season.

One can't state with certainty that the summer transfer window has completely come to an end, though. After all, Real Madrid are still linked with Xabi Alonso and Alvaro Arbeloa, although Barcelona have sealed the signing of Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

But with that latter signing due to take place tomorrow, we now have a fair idea of how Spain's two biggest clubs will line up as the Blaugrana prepare to defend their title in the face of a Blanco challenge.

With that in mind, we take a look at the probable lineups for the two sides ahead of the new season and ask: which is stronger?

Last season Barca's first eleven proved itself to be the indisputable leader both in Spain and the continent, while Madrid struggled in their wake and also in Europe.

But with significant changes at the Santiago Bernabeu, could it be different this time around?

Take a look:



Of course these two will not be the starting eleven each and every week. Real Madrid in particular have an embarassment of riches: Wesley Sneijder in midfield is still very much present, as is Raul up front, not to mention Ruud van Nistelrooy. Barcelona, meanwhile, have Seydou Keita, and also young Bojan, who is once again on fire this pre-season.

What do you think, though? If it's the best eleven against the best eleven, which is stronger - and who will prevail?

Ewan Macdonald, Goal.com