Barcelona midfielders Andres Iniesta, Ivan Rakitic and Sergio Busquets returned to training on 28 March, five days before the El Clasico showdown with Real Madrid at the Nou Camp. The trio did not join up with their national teams during the international break due to niggling injuries and were permitted to continue their recovery in Catalonia.

Iniesta did not feature in Barcelona's 2-2 draw against Villarreal on 20 March due to muscular discomfort, while Rakitic and Busquets suffered calf and hand injuries respectively. Defender Jordi Alba did not train on 28 March due to an ankle problem and is doubtful for the visit of Real Madrid.

Leaders Barcelona are 10 points ahead of Real in La Liga with eight games left in the season.

Real revenge

Zinedine Zidane, who is preparing for his first Clasico as Madrid coach, will hope his team can gain revenge for their 4-0 defeat at home in the reverse fixture in November. Goals from Andres Iniesta, Neymar and a Luis Suarez double condemned the capital club to a humiliating defeat that proved fatal to the reign of previous manager Rafael Benitez.

The visitors are sweating over the fitness of captain Sergio Ramos after he picked up a back injury on international duty.

Meanwhile, Barca midfielder Arda Turan said he is looking forward to experiencing his first El Clasico.

Arda Turan
Arda Turan is likely to start on the bench for Barcelona against Real Madrid Getty

"I've been fortunate to have experienced important matches against Madrid but it will be special for me as it will be my first [Clasico]," the 29-year-old was quoted as saying by Football Espana.

"But it's just a game and if we lose, life remains the same. I've played games harder than this. "We have a lot of advantages, playing at home, with a great atmosphere. In my head it's easy. Go out and play football without any pressure."

The former Atletico Madrid player added that his transfer to Catalonia was fuelled by an ambition to win the Champions League. "I'm here to win the Champions League. Lionel Messi is, for me, the greatest player ever, but I've come to win trophies," he stated.