Barcelona vs. Real Madrid: Lionel Messi to start El Clasico on the bench, plus complete starting XI for both teams

The starting lineups are in for Wednesday’s El Clasico between Real Madrid and Barcelona. The match will air at 3 p.m. ET on fuboTV (Try for free). The Spanish rivals are meeting in the first leg of the Copa del Rey semifinals at the Camp Nou in what’s the second meeting between the to during the 2018-19 season. Their first encounter, which came in La Liga action, was a 5-1 win by Barcelona back in September. Lionel Messi, whose status for the game was up in the air due to injury, is on the bench for Barca.

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Here are the officially announced starting lineups for each club:

Barcelona: Marc-Andre Ter Stegen; Nelson Semedo, Gerard Pique, Clement Lenglet, Jordi Alba; Ivan Rakitic, Sergio Busquets, Arthur; Malcolm, Luis Suarez, Philippe Coutinho

This is about as expected, but since Barca has gone with its best players elsewhere, it’s likely Messi would have started if he were 100 percent. Maybe he isn’t quite there just yet and the club is being cautious. We could still see him off the bench. And Semedo starts as he continues to gel with this teammates, producing some quality performances as of late.

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Real Madrid: Keylor Navas; Dani Carvajal, Raphael Varane, Sergio Ramos, Marcelo; Luka Modric, Casemiro, Llorente; Vinicius, Karim Benzema, Vazquez

Young Brazilian Vinicius starts on one wing with Lucas Vazquez on the other. Gareth Bale, meanwhile, starts on the bench with guys like Marco Asensio and Isco. It’s a super strong lineup for Real but surprising not to see Bale. His speed and strength in the final third could be needed against the touch central defense of Barca.

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