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LIVE - Real Madrid host Barcelona, Messi returns to the bench

Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi

Barcelona’s Lionel Messi, left, gestures next to Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo, right, during a Spanish La Liga soccer match between Real Madrid and FC Barcelona at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid, Spain, Saturday, Oct. 25, 2014. (AP Photo/Andres Kudacki)


Real Madrid host Barcelona at 12:15 p.m. ET on Saturday with Lionel Messi back in the squad for Barca after missing seven weeks out through injury.

The Argentine superstar, 28, injured his knee at the end of September and has been missing ever since but returns for the battle between Spain’s two powerhouses at the Santiago Bernabeu.

[ LIVE - Latest updates on El Clasico ]

Messi hasn’t missed a single second of their last 27 El Clasico’s but he will have to be content with watching on from the bench.

Below are the starting lineups for both Real and Barca, as Messi will be lurking and ready to make an impact if Barca’s boss Luis Enrqiue calls on him. Rafael Benitze takes charge of his first El Clasico with Bale, Benzema, Ronaldo and James all in the starting lineup.


Real Madrid: Navas, Danilo, Varane, Ramos, Marcelo; Kroos, Modric, James; Ronaldo, Benzema, Bale. Subs: Casilla, Pepe, Casemiro, Carvajal, Kovacic, Jese, Isco

Barcelona: Bravo; Alves, Pique, Mascherano, Alba; Rakitic, Busquets, Iniesta; S. Roberto, Suarez, Neymar. Subs: Ter Stegen, Messi, Munir, Sandro, Adriano, Vermaelen, Mathieu

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