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Neymar and Messi on bench against Atletico

Can Neymar make an impact off the bench against Atletico? -
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Barcelona manager Tata Martino has sprung a selection surprise ahead of tonight's match against Atletico Madrid by benching Lionel Messi and Neymar.

The superstar pairing, who have seldom played together since the Brazilian's arrival during pre-season, were tipped to lead Barca's attack in what is being labelled La Liga's biggest showdown of 2013/14.

Messi has only recently returned following injury and Neymar has been away on an extended Christmas break back home, so the news that both players will be substitutes will alarm the Camp Nou faithful.

Barcelona's attacking options are still stronger than most even without the South American duo, with Alex Sanchez, Pedro and Cesc Fabregas reaping the rewards of some fine recent form.

Should either team win this evening's game, they will take the outright lead in La Liga by virtue of the fact that he teams are separated at the top by goal difference alone. 

 
 

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