Beaten Barca will be without El Clasico veteran Xavi for Bernabeau clash, as Madrid look for second win in five days
13:36 GMT, 1 March 2013
13:38 GMT, 1 March 2013
Barcelona's fears of a second El Clasico
defeat in five days were made worse today after discovering influential
midfielder Xavi has been ruled out of tomorrow's match with a hamstring
The Spaniard, who has played in 37 Clasico's, the highest of all current players, risked his niggling injury by appearing in Tuesday's 3-1 Copa Del Rey semi-final defeat to Real at the Nou Camp.
Caught out: Xavi risked the hamstring injury by playing in Tuesday's El Classico, and now finds himself on the sidelines for the La Liga clash
Influence: Xavi has played 36 times this season, scoring six goals
The 33-year-old first discovered a small tear after leaving the pitch against Valencia on February 2, but was rested before playing with no apparent trouble in San Siro for the Champions League last-16 first leg against AC Milan last week.
But Xavi suffered another small tear in a training session on Sunday, and despite playing on Tuesday has been officially ruled out of the clash at the Bernabau.
He will now have a week to recover before Barcelona's next match with Deportivo in eight days, and will hope to be involved when the four-time champions of Europe look to overcome a 2-0 last-16 first leg deficit against Milan.
Barcelona hold a staggering 16-point gap over Madrid in third place, while Atletico Madrid trail the Catalan giants by 12 points.
The game will be played at 3pm on Saturday, meaning British television stations will not be able to televise the game due to Saturday football blackout rules.