Valverde praises Barca for stepping up in Messi's absence

27 October, 2018, 20:45 | Author: George Williams
  • Barcelona cruise past Inter without Messi

"We are very happy for the match, against a team that was going to make things very hard for us, we played very well".

It is six games since Barca last kept a clean sheet - a 4-0 rout of PSV Eindhoven in their Champions League opener - and the defence has come under scrutiny amid the poor run. Before the match gets underway on Sunday, we take a look at five key clashes to look out for and those that could probably decide the outcome of the game.

Luis Suarez says that it is Barcelona's "turn to win" El Clasico as the Spanish champions prepare to welcome Real Madrid to Camp Nou.

Two more bookmakers estimated the victory of inter in this match 6.25.

Lionel Messi - out with a broken arm - watched from the stands at the Nou Camp as Barca dominated the Group B tie on Wednesday.

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The Spanish giants have endured a nightmare start to La Liga under new coach Julen Lopetegui and there is speculation that a change at the helm is imminent with Courtois' former Chelsea coaches Mourinho and Conte both linked with the Madrid job.

His arm in a sling and a wide grin across his face, Lionel Messi was able to enjoy Barcelona's handsome play from the stands for once.

"We knew what Rafinha could give us, from the first to last minute he worked extremely hard", Valverde said.

"We must play with great confidence but the minimum of arrogance given the good spell we are going through". Madrid will be such as risky opponent.

The staff have the support of the players and they will do their best for them on the pitch as well as for Perez's whose project is in threat.

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'It is always the way and you don't think about what state of mind the other team is in when they arrive'.

Thomas Vermaelen and Samuel Umtiti are also unavailable.

The influential forward is no stranger to the Clasico atmosphere, having played Real regularly since his first appearance against Los Blancos over a decade ago.

"Of course we miss him, but we want to miss him while winning".

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