MADRID (Sporting Alert) – As reported, David Villa returns to the starting lineup for Barcelona, but Cristiano Ronaldo was left on the bench for Real Madrid for today’s clash at Santiago Bernabéu.
Villa was left on the bench for that game, but starts tonight ahead of Cesc Fabregas and plays alongside Lionel Messi and Pedro in the Barcelona attack.
Victor Valdes returns in goal, while Thiago comes in for the injured Xavi in midfield. Javier Mascherano starts in the backline as Gerard Pique’s partner with Carles Puyol on the bench.
With Ronaldo, Mesut Ozil and Gonzalo Higuain amongst the substitutes for Real Madrid, the way was paved for Kaka, Luka Modric and Karim Benzema to start.
Diego Lopez remains in goal with Antonio Adan on the bench Alvaro Morata also starts. The developing Raphael Varane is amongst the defenders starting tonight at center-back.
Real Madrid vs Barcelona Starters
Real Madrid team: Diego López; Ramos, Varane, Pepe, Coentrao; Essien, Modric; Kaka, Callejon, Morata, Benzema.
Real Madrid Subs: Adan, Arbeloa, Carvalho, Khedira, Ozil, Higuain, Ronaldo
Barcelona team: Valdés, Alves, Piqué, Mascherano, Alba; Sergio, Thiago, Iniesta; Villa, Messi and Pedro.
Barcelona Subs: Pinto, Adriano, Puyol, Fabregas, Song, Sanchez, Tello