Barcelona, Real Madrid missing several regulars ahead of weekend games

Reuters, Friday 19 Oct 2012

Leaders Barcelona will be without injured defensive trio Carles Puyol, Gerard Pique and Dani Alves who were all left out of the squad to visit promoted Deportivo Coruna on Saturday

Gerard Pique
Gerard Pique still missing for Barcelona (Photo: Reuters)

Midfielders Alex Song and Javier Mascherano could reprise their central defensive partnership, though full back Adriano Correia was a surprise choice at centre-back for the 'Clasico' two weeks ago.

"We thought Pique would be ready for the Depor game but he isn't 100 percent," Barca coach Tito Vilanova told a news conference on Friday. "We didn't risk him against Real and we won't tomorrow either."

Barca hold an eight-point lead over fifth-placed champions Real, who host promoted Celta Vigo on Saturday (1600).

Jose Mourinho's side lost fullbacks Marcelo, Alvaro Arbeloa and Fabio Coentrao to injury during the break for internationals and, like Barca, will need to shuffle their defence to cover at left back.

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