Boost for Barcelona and Real with Pique and Benzema set to return for El Clasico

By Elliott Bretland


Barcelona and Real Madrid have both been handed boosts ahead of Sunday's El Clasico with the news Gerard Pique and Karim Benzema should be available for selection.

Defender Pique missed Barca's 7-0 win over Osasuna as a precaution to rest his right ankle but returned to training on Monday.

However, Carles Puyol, who is set to leave the Nou Camp at the end of the season, will miss what would have been his final clash against Real with a knee injury.

Comeback: Defender Gerard Pique is set to return to the Barcelona team after recovering from an ankle injury

Comeback: Defender Gerard Pique is set to return to the Barcelona team after recovering from an ankle injury

Out: Carles Puyol is set to miss his final 'El Clasico' for Barcelona with a knee injury

Out: Carles Puyol is set to miss his final 'El Clasico' for Barcelona with a knee injury

Jokers: Neymar and Jordi Alba lark around during Barcelona's training session on Saturday

Jokers: Neymar and Jordi Alba lark around during Barcelona's training session on Saturday

Messing around: The Barcelona squad laugh as Neymar and Jordi Alba embrace in the middle of the group

Messing around: The Barcelona squad laugh as Neymar and Jordi Alba embrace in the middle of the group

High spirits: Midfielder Alex Song jokingly pushes Neymar to the ground as Alba watches on

High spirits: Midfielder Alex Song jokingly pushes Neymar to the ground as Alba watches on

All smiles: Gerard Pique attended his partner Shakira's album launch in Barcelona on Friday

All smiles: Gerard Pique attended his partner Shakira's album launch in Barcelona on Friday

Meanwhile, France international Karim Benzema looks set to return to the Los Blancos line-up having missed his side's 3-1 victory over Schalke in the Champions League on Tuesday.

The former Lyon striker returned to Carlo Ancelotti's squad on Saturday after injuring himself during Madrid's 1-0 victory away at Malaga.

La Liga leaders Real go into Sunday's match four points clear of third-placed Barcelona while local rivals Atletico trail by three points in second.

Return: Madrid striker Karim Benzema is set to to return after injuring himself against Malaga last week

Return: Madrid striker Karim Benzema is set to to return after injuring himself against Malaga last week

He's in fashion: Cristiano Ronaldo, wearing rather usual head gear, trains with Gareth Bale

He's in fashion: Cristiano Ronaldo, wearing rather usual head gear, trains with Gareth Bale

Practice makes perfect: League leaders Real Madrid pass the ball around during Saturday's training session

Practice makes perfect: League leaders Real Madrid pass the ball around during Saturday's training session

Coach: Carlo Ancelotti oversees Real Madrid's training session ahead og the El Clasico clash with Barcelona

Coach: Carlo Ancelotti oversees Real Madrid's training session ahead og the El Clasico clash with Barcelona

Star man: Lionel Messi climbs the steps at Barcelona's Sports Centre on Saturday

Star man: Lionel Messi climbs the steps at Barcelona's Sports Centre on Saturday

Sitting pretty: Barcelona boss Gerardo Martino sits out to check his notes as his players get warmed up

Sitting pretty: Barcelona boss Gerardo Martino sits out to check his notes as his players get warmed up

Easy save: Barcelona goalkeeper Victor Valdes gets down to his right to catch an effort during training

Easy save: Barcelona goalkeeper Victor Valdes gets down to his right to catch an effort during training

In the hotseat: Barcelona boss Gerardo Martino (left) and Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti go head-to-head on Sunday night
In the hotseat: Barcelona boss Gerardo Martino (left) and Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti go head-to-head on Sunday night

In the hotseat: Barcelona boss Martino (left) and Madrid manager Ancelotti go head-to-head on Sunday night

 

The comments below have not been moderated.

Lol, Pique is no match for either of em one on one.

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A backline of Alves-Pique-Mascherano-Alba won't be able to keep out BBC, whereas Carvajal-Varane-Ramos-Coentrao could keep out Messi and co.

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first row won't disappoint

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Jordi Alba - "Cristiano is a beast." ...I agree.

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My money is on Ancelotti and Real Madrid,The combination of Bale and Ronaldo is at its finest so far,its going to be trilling game!

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Real Madrid lost. LOL

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Can't wait for this game. Rarely disappoints and the standard of first touch and passing is usually breathtaking.

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cant believe im gonna miss this game .. gonna DVR n watch it later after internet blackout... HALA MADRID!

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BARCA !!!!!!

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Lol at Barca being "boosted" by Pique returning. Does the Daily Mail not know how mediocre he is?

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