Part of Barcelona’s three-headed attack will be on the sidelines for the latest Clasico.
Neymar will be on the sidelines on Sunday, despite furious attempts from Barcelona to appeal his suspension. He is serving a three-match ban starting on Sunday, stemming from a redcard received earlier in the month at Malaga. Neymar received an automatic suspension for the red card, but taunting an official on his way off the field earned him an additional two-match ban.
Neymar hasn’t put up numbers similar to Messi or Luis Suarez, but he remains one of the world’s most dangerous attackers. Still, he has struggled to produce in recent games. He only has four La Liga goals since the start of February, and hasn’t scored in four straight starts. In 26 La Liga starts this season, Neymar has totaled nine goals and 10 assists.
Despite the incident occurring over two weeks ago, Barcelona tried to appeal the suspension until the final hours. Neymar even traveled with the team this weekend while his team appealed to Spain’s Court of Arbitration for Sport, but the court refused to meet over the weekend. The court issued a statement that re-affirmed the suspension, followed by Barcelona releasing a bulleted rebuttal. They’re not handling the news well.
Without Neymar, expect Arda Turan or Paco Alcacer to replace him in the lineup. Neymar will also miss the next two matches, which could determine Barcelona’s fate in pursuit of a third straight domestic title.