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El Clasico 2021 Match Preview, Injuries/Suspensions, Starting XIs, Prediction

The first El Clasico of the 2021-22 season is here

FC Barcelona v Real Madrid CF - LaLiga Santander Photo by Pedro Salado/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

Match Preview

The first El Clasico of the 2021-22 season is finally here as Real Madrid travels to the Camp Nou to take on Barcelona on Sunday.

This is the first edition in over a decade of this classic rivalry that will not feature either Lionel Messi nor Cristiano Ronaldo. Instead, we will see many young and familiar faces which could make for a more interesting result.

Six of Barcelona’s eleven announced starters are under the age of 25. The 17-year-old wonderkid Gavi becomes one of the youngest players to feature in El Clasico as he also became one of the youngest Spanish international players recently.

Real Madrid are currently fourth in the league table while Barcelona have struggled so far this season and sit in eighth. Real have also won their last three matches across all competitions against the Blaugrana. Los Blancos haven’t won four straight against Barca since 1965.

Injuries/Suspensions

Real Madrid will be without Gareth Bale, Dani Ceballos and Luka Jovic. Dani Carvajal and Eden Hazard both return for the club on the bench.

Barcelona is without Martin Braithwaite, Pedri, Ousmane Dembele, Ronald Araujo and Moussa Wague.

There are no suspensions for either club in this El Clasico.

Starting XIs

Barcelona

Ter Stegen; Mingueza, Pique, Garcia, Alba; de Jong, Busquets, Gavi; Dest, Ansu Fati, Memphis

Real Madrid

Courtois; Vazquez, Militão, Alaba, Mendy; Modric, Casemiro, Kroos; Rodrygo, Vinicius, Benzema

Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti goes with the same starting lineup as he did against FC Shakhtar earlier this week that netted his team a 5-0 victory.

With Carvajal back, but likely still recovering he chooses to select Lucas Vazquez for the right back position again. David Alaba makes his first start in El Clasico since joining the club with Nacho on the bench.

If Hazard is set to play after his injury recovery it will be off the bench and would be the first feature in El Clasico for him since joining the club over two years ago.

Prediction

Barcelona—Real Madrid 1-2

Both clubs have been streaky in La Liga as of recent with both clubs dropping points. It will be interesting to say the least with how many youngsters are featuring, specifically from Barcelona’s perspective.

Real Madrid have scored several more goals than Barca this season and have played a bit better overall. Still, anything can and will happen in El Clasico. Regardless, its a new era of this classic rivalry without two of football’s biggest names and we can’t wait to watch it unfold.