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Robert Lewandowski, Jules Kounde and Raphinha named in Barcelona squad for El Clasico

Barcelona have been handed a triple fitness boost for Saturday’s El Clasico with Robert Lewandowski, Jules Kounde and Raphinha all making the matchday squad.

Lewandowski and Kounde had been sidelined since early October with ankle and knee injuries respectively, while Raphinha was nursing a torn hamstring which he picked up against Sevilla back in September.

The trio were absent from Barcelona’s most recent Champions League clash but have now been passed fit to feature against Real Madrid, although it remains to be seen if any of them will get the nod to feature from the start.

Xavi Hernandez has often deployed Ronald Araujo at right-back in El Clasicos to cope with the threat of Vinicius Junior and Kounde’s timely return to fitness provides his head coach with the chance to repeat the trick.

Joao Felix, who came off with an injury scare in midweek, is also available for selection as he prepares for his first taste of Spanish football’s biggest fixture.

However, Pedri, Frenkie de Jong and skipper Sergi Roberto remain ruled out for the Blaugrana.

Despite being the only La Liga team yet to suffer defeat this term, Barcelona currently trail Madrid and will be looking to leapfrog their arch-rivals into second place.

Barca and Madrid head into this weekend’s encounter off the back of victories in their respective European involvements last time out as Barca defeated Shakhtar Donetsk 2-1, while Madrid claimed a narrow win over Braga by the same scoreline.

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