Gerard Pique ruled out of Real Madrid clash, Alex Song steps in

David Ramos - Getty Images

Barcelona defender Gerard Pique has not been included in the squad for El Clasico against Real Madrid tonight.

Barcelona have suffered an early blow to their hopes of victory against Real Madrid in tonight's El Clasico as Gerard Pique has been definitely ruled out.

The centre-back had been struggling to return for the game since spraining his foot against Spartak Moscow in September, but did not train with the rest of the Barcelona team, instead being sent to the gym to train alone and continue his recovery, and has been left out of the matchday squad. The news is a further blow to the Blaugrana, who are also without captain Carles Puyol after he suffered an arm injury.

Alex Song will almost certainly be the man to replace Pique, but the Cameroon international is not a natural centre-back, and will have to line up alongside another midfielder, Javier Mascherano, at the heart of Barcelona's defence.

Get more information on the likely lineups for both Barcelona and Real Madrid here.

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