Real Madrid Vs. Barcelona, 2011 El Clasico: Merengues Lineup

Pep Guardiola has shocked the world, opting to bench David Villa in El Clasico. It's going to be tough to scrutinize the decision, as Villa has been in average form over the last year, but it's still a very bold move. Barcelona will play with Cesc Fabregas up top as a false nine and Lionel Messi playing a bit farther right than we've seen him in the recent past. Real Madrid and Jose Mourinho might be a bit surprised to see that, but who's to say they don't have a trick up their sleeve as well? Here's the starting lineup.

Barcelona Lineup (4-3-3): Valdes; Abidal, Pique, Puyol, Alves; Busquets, Xavi, Iniesta; Sanchez, Fabregas, Messi

This also dispels the myth that Pep was going to go with the back three...though who knows. This could end up being the wackiest 3-4-3 ever. More likely than not, this is a back four from Guardiola. 

We'll have live coverage of El Clasico from 4:00 p.m. ET. For more on the two teams, head over to Real Madrid blog Managing Madrid and FC Barcelona blog Barca Blaugranes. Check out SB Nation Soccer and our El Clasico StoryStream for more in the build-up to the game. For more from around the world of football, follow @SBNationSoccer on twitter.

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