Real Madrid vs Barcelona preview: Messi, Fati & Benzema feature in most valuable combined XI

Real Madrid vs Barcelona preview

Real Madrid host Barcelona on Saturday evening in a clash that is being dubbed as one of the most important El Clasicos in years.

Both sides have narrowed the gap to La Liga pace setters Atletico Madrid and are closing in on the summit with just nine fixtures left to play. 

Barca know that a win will move them one point clear of Atletico before Diego Simeone's side face Real Betis on Sunday evening, while Real can leapfrog their historic rivals and go level with the league leaders by clinching all three points at the Alfredo Di Stefano. 

It's a mammoth fixture that has all the ingredients for an enchanting, turbulent affair in the Spanish capital. 

With Lionel Messi in scintillating form having scored 16 goals in his last 12 La Liga matches, Barca come into the game on an unbeaten run that stretches back to December 5. 

Los Blancos have been in similarly unrelenting form, winning 13 of their last 18 in the league and suffering just one defeat in that time at home to Levante in January. 

The stage is set for a blockbuster evening of footballing brilliance, and ahead of the game GIVEMESPORT have stayed true to tradition by producing a combined XI - albeit with a twist. 

We've drawn on data provided by Transfermarkt to create the most valuable El Clasico XI, one that's worth €670m (£603) combined. 

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Featuring a defensive line made up entirely of Real players, Zinedine Zidane's men outnumber Ronald Koeman's by seven to four. 

Let's take a look at who makes the cut...

GK: Thibaut Courtois (£67.5m)

RB: Daniel Carvajal (£36m)

CB: Eder Militao (£27m)

CB: Raphael Varane (£63m)

LB: Ferland Mendy (£45m)

CM: Frenkie de Jong (£72m)

CM: Federico Valverde (£63m)

CAM: Pedri (£63m) 

RW: Lionel Messi (£72m)

LW: Ansu Fati (72m)

CF: Karim Benzema (£22.5m) 

There are notable omissions here for Eden Hazard, Ousmane Dembele, Antoine Griezmann and Philippe Coutinho, all of whom were signed by their respective clubs in deals worth more than £100m. 

Toni Kroos would be a shoe-in for most people's combined XI based on form and career success, but at 31 years old his £45m valuation falls short of a much younger duo in Valverde, 22, and De Jong, 23. 

That Benzema earns selection at centre-forward despite his £22.5m valuation attests to the diminishing prevalence of top level strikers amid the growing importance of wide forwards. 

Take a look at the line-up in full below:

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