Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde expects to face ‘dangerous’ Real Madrid in Clasico despite pressure mounting on Julen Lopetegui
- Barcelona made it three wins from three in Europe by beating Inter Milan 2-0
- Even with Lionel Messi injured, Ernesto Valverde’s side clinched three points
- They now take on Real Madrid in a Nou Camp Clasico on Sunday afternoon
- Barcelona will start as strong favourites with Real performing poorly
- But Valverde said he won’t be taking anything for granted when rivals meet
Barcelona manager Ernesto Valverde still expects Real Madrid to be ‘dangerous’ opponents in Sunday’s Clasico despite the ongoing crisis at the Bernabeu.
Real coach Julen Lopetegui is under intense pressure with Real sitting seventh in the La Liga standings following an inconsistent start to the season.
League leaders Barcelona will start as strong favourites in what is Lopetegui’s first Clasico and they will enter the contest off the back of a 2-0 Champions League win over Inter Milan.
Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde is expecting Real Madrid to be ‘dangerous’ in the Clasico
Real Madrid manager Julen Lopetegui is under intense pressure after a poor start to the season
But Valverde is taking nothing for granted: ‘Madrid can be even more dangerous.
‘They will come out here to face us and although they come in crisis will want to demonstrate their strength, which they have because they have great players.
‘We must forget about today… I do not trust these situations.’
Goals from Rafinha and Jordi Alba strengthened Barcelona’s grip on Champions League Group B as they made it three wins from three.
And they did so without talisman Lionel Messi, who watched from the stands at the Nou Camp with his arm in a sling after fracturing it in the weekend win over Sevilla.
Rafinha (left) celebrated after breaking the deadlock in Barcelona’s win over Inter Milan
Jordi Alba scored the second goal of the game to put it to bed with eight minutes remaining
Lionel Messi is sidelined with a broken arm and watched the game with his son in the stands
‘We have responded well without Messi,’ added Valverde. ‘There was a lot of expectation to see how we responded to his absence.
‘It was something that was in everyone’s head and it showed in the environment, but we have responded well.
‘We always play as a team and we have a recognised and recognisable style, but it is true that Messi gives us a touch of extraordinary brilliance.
‘If he is not there, we have to replace him. Today we have made the right decision, but we hope we can come back soon, we all miss him.’
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