TEAM NEWS: Song left out as Pedro and Cesc start for Barca in Clasico clash

Adriano starts in defence for Barcelona against Real Madrid, after Gerard Pique failed to prove his fitness to boss Tito Vilanova ahead of this evening’s Clasico.

The 25-year-old Spain international picked up an ankle injury against Spartak Moscow on September 19, and despite completing training with the rest of the first-team yesterday, was deemed unfit to be involved tonight by Vilanova.

Elsewhere the Catalan giants line up as expected, with Cesc Fabregas, Sergio Busquets and Xavi completing a midfield three and Andres Iniesta and Pedro operating either side of Lionel Messi up front.

Iniesta starts his first match since September 12, after picking up an adductor muscle injury while on international duty nearly a month ago.

While Vilanova has had to shuffle his squad, with Pique, Carlos Puyol, Eric Abidal, Isaac Cuenca and Thiago Alcantara all on the sidelines, Madrid come into the match with a full set of players at coach Jose Mourinho’s disposal.

The debate surrounding who would start out of Mesut Ozil, Luka Modric and Kaka in attacking midfield has been resolved, with Los Blancos’ Portuguese trainer opting to play Ozil alongside Angel Di Maria and Cristiano Ronaldo in an attacking three supporting lone striker Karim Benzema.

Marcelo continues at left-back for the away side, while Xabi Alonso and Sami Khedira start in defensive midfield in Mourinho’s favoured 4-2-3-1 formation.

Barcelona (4-3-3):
Valdes; Alves, Adriano, Mascherano, Alba; Xavi, Busquets, Fabregas; Iniesta, Messi, Pedro

Subs: Pinto, Montoya, Bartra, Song, Sergi Roberto, Alexis, Villa

Real Madrid (4-2-3-1): Casillas; Arbeloa, Pepe, Ramos, Marcelo; Khedira, Alonso; Ozil, Cristiano, Di Maria, Benzema

Subs: Adan, Coentrao, Kaka, Essien, Albiol, Modric, Higuain

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