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Neymar could play in Clasico pending Barcelona late ban appeal – sources

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The FC crew debate whether Real Madrid or Barcelona will triumph in the 266th installment of El Clasico.

After receiving a three match La Liga suspension, the FC crew debate if Neymar’s actions deserved the punishment.

Barcelona star Neymar reveals what chance he gives his side to overturn their 3-goal UCL deficit against Juventus.

Barcelona maintain the slimmest hopes of freeing up Neymar to play in Sunday’s Clasico against Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu.

After an unsuccessful appeal of Neymar’s three-match ban, Barcelona confirmed they will take their case to Spain’s Court of Arbitration for Sport [TAD].

TAD met on Friday, but Barcelona did not file an official appeal until after their meeting.

Sources have told ESPN FC that Barca plan to take the case to TAD on Saturday, which is within the 15-day deadline, in an effort to stall on the start date of the ban.

The logic behind the delay is that once the appeal has been officially made, the ban is effectively suspended until TAD make a decision.

Therefore, TAD would have to call an urgent meeting on Saturday to review the appeal — they usually just meet once a week — or Neymar’s suspension could potentially temporarily be put on ice until a final decision is taken.

That would allow Neymar to feature in this weekend’s game against Real Madrid, which could have huge implications in the La Liga title race.

Neymar was sent off as Barca were beaten at Malaga earlier this month after picking up two yellow cards, earning himself a one-match ban.

His first booking was for obstructing the taking of a free-kick by tying his laces and the second was for a late challenge on Roberto Rosales.

However, he was awarded a further two-game suspension after referee Jesus Gil Manzano included in his post match report that the Brazilian had “sarcastically applauded” the fourth official as he left the pitch.

The dismissal was Neymar’s first in his four seasons with the club and he became Barca’s first player to be dismissed in La Liga since October 2015.

Barca travel to the Spanish capital three points behind league leaders Madrid, but could go top with a win.

However, defeat to Zinedine Zidane’s side would leave them six points off the pace, having played one game more and with just five matches left to play.

Samuel Marsden covers Barcelona for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter @SamuelMarsden.

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