Barcelona are taking a huge risk with Lionel Messi and Frenkie de Jong ahead of El Clasico

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Although the biggest game of club football in the world – El Clasico – is still a few weeks away, Barcelona are playing a dangerous game with two of their star players.

At present, the Catalans need all hands on deck as they look to accrue as many points as possible to give them a genuine shot at the La Liga title.

Not so long ago, they were 12 points behind Atletico Madrid, but with the Madrid derby to come on Sunday, that gap could be down to five, with matches for the blaugranes still to come against Atleti and Real.

It’s an astonishing turnaround in form, however, Leo Messi and Frenkie de Jong need to be very careful indeed over the course of the next few matches.

According to Sport, both players are only one game away from a suspension.

With tricky fixtures to come against Osasuna, Huesca, Real Sociedad and Valladolid, before the date against Real, there really isn’t a good time for either to find themselves in the referee’s notebook again.

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