Barcelona boss hints he could drop Iniesta or Xavi for El Clasico

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Barcelona boss Gerardo Martino has hinted that either Andres Iniesta or Xavi could be left out for his side's derby game against Real Madrid tonight.

The Catalan club sit top of La Liga, one point clear of Atletico Madrid and a further two ahead of Real.

Martino faces a selection headache in midfield with Xavi, Iniesta and Fabregas all fit to start.

The Barcelona boss has put his faith in Fabregas this season, - in the past he was used as back up to his illustrious team-mates, but this season he is the club's second most-used outfield player.

Martino conceded he has a difficult choice to make ahead of the match this evening at the Nou Camp, and hinted he was favouring leaving one of Iniesta or Xavi out.

"There is a possibility that the three could play the game, or one could be left out, as always," the Argentine boss said.

"I had the team for the game decided before Milan. Players who have that level, it is not usual, they would not be left out of any other team. But this is Barca, so if Iniesta plays, Cesc is out, or if Xavi plays, Iniesta is out, or the three play and you leave out a wide attacker.

"They are all good. So you have to leave a good player out. I would like them to change the rules so we could put in one more. But without that you need to leave one out. It can be closer to unfair than to being fair."

Barcelona go into the game on the back of a 1-1 draw in the Champions League against AC Milan. Martino says they won't change their game despite the threat Real Madrid will pose on the break tonight.

"We want to have lots of possession, play good football, and play close to their area," he said.
"For that Madrid might have space to break into. When a team has spaces, and attackers like Ronaldo, Bale, Di Maria and Benzema, you run risks.

"So we must take on those risks, as has always happened. But we must minimise them. The biggest problem we can have is losing the ball as we are building moves, because then they can counter and you are left open."

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Real Madrid
Francesc Fabregas

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