Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 31 March 2020

In pictures: Lionel Messi and Martin Braithwaite training with Barcelona teammates ahead of Real Madrid clash

Argentina forward will be playing in his 42nd clasico

Lionel Messi will lead Barcelona at the Bernabeu on Sunday for his 42nd clasico against Real Madrid.

Much has changed for the mercurial Argentine since he made his clasico debut as an 18-year-old, but not his ability to score the most important goals.

In March 2007, in his first home encounter against Real Madrid, his last-gasp equaliser earned Barcelona a draw against the old enemy. It also completed his first clasico hat-trick.

Messi was looking relaxed on Saturday as he took part in the final training session before Sunday's match.

Barca are two points clear of their big rivals and could open a significant gap with a win in Madrid with only a dozen games left in the season after this meeting.

Real remain without Eden Hazard, who suffered a hairline fracture in his right fibula during the loss at Levante.

Marco Asensio is yet to return from an anterior cruciate ligament tear, while Rodrygo is suspended after being sent off playing for Real Madrid Castilla.

Jordi Alba is back in first-team training for Barcelona and Gerard Pique could feature despite a sprained ankle sustained in the Champions League draw against Napoli.

The visitors are definitely without Sergi Roberto, Ousmane Dembele and Luis Suarez.

Updated: February 29, 2020 04:11 PM

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