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Barcelona midfielder Rafinha available for Clasico

18 December 2017 17:01

Rafinha could return from over eight months out in Saturday's Clasico between Real Madrid and Barcelona.

The midfielder has undergone knee surgery twice in 2017 after injuring the internal meniscus in his right knee against Granada in April.

Rafinha returned to team training this month and Barcelona confirmed on Monday that the 24-year-old has been given the medical all-clear.

While unlikely to start against Madrid in Saturday's first LaLiga Clasico of the season, Rafinha could at least earn a place on the bench, with head coach Ernesto Valverde facing other injury concerns.

Barca will be without Paco Alcacer after the forward was injured in Sunday's 4-0 thrashing of Deportivo La Coruna.

Ousmane Dembele is not expected to be fit enough to be included in the squad as he continues his recovery from a hamstring injury.

Captain Andres Iniesta has also only recently recovered from a calf problem, although the 33-year-old managed 56 minutes of the win over Deportivo.

Barca head into the match at the Santiago Bernabeu with a six-point lead over Atletico Madrid at the top of the table, while champions Madrid are nine points behind.

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La Liga table

# Team MP D P
1 19 +43 51
2 19 +20 42
3 19 +21 40
4 18 +15 32
5 19 +5 31

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