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English Premiership

Duo doubtful for El Classico

MADRID, Nov 27 – Star strikers Lionel Messi and Zlatan Ibrahimovic missed Barcelona's training session on Thursday and are in doubt for the club's weekend clash at home against arch-rivals Real Madrid.MESSIMessi, who injured his leg in league play on Saturday, and Ibrahimovic, who has been struggling with a hamstring injury, "continued their process of recuperation", the club said in a statement posted on their website.

Sunday’s match at the at the Camp Nou comes as Real have have a one-point advantage over the reigning champions following their best league start in 17 years.

Both strikers missed Barcelona’s crucial 2-0 Champions League defeat of Inter Milan on Tuesday because of their injuries.

"It was an important game and it has given us confidence and lifted morale because we were at our best. We could have gone out of the Champions League," Barcelona captain Carles Puyol said Thursday after the training session.

"We have great respect for Madrid. They are league leaders and that means something. They have won nearly all their games and are a difficult side. I think (the odds of) our game with them is 50-50," he added.

Real defeated Racing Santander 1-0 on Saturday to wrestle top spot from unbeaten Barca – who drew 1-1 at Athletic Bilbao – and their haul of 28 points from a possible 33 represents their best start since the 1991-92 season.

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