Real Madrid looking to end Barcelona's winning streak in El Clasico

Barcelona v Real Madrid Messi's dominant 2017-18 La Liga numbers leave Ronaldo trailing

Quite how long he is on the pitch at Camp Nou for the visit of Real Madrid depends on how well he and Barcelona's medical staff soothe the calf injury that has troubled him lately.

This was a reference to Barcelona not offering the same courtesy to Los Blancos after they won the FIFA Club World Cup.

"It's said that they weren't in the competition, but that's not true". You have to play well every weekend in order to be the champions.

"I am not one to decide on my own whether to give them a guard of honor", Zidane said at a press conference. We, with respect, won't do it for them because they didn't.

"They didn't give us one, so what's most important is respecting what they have done".

Maybe it's just a matter of the rivalry intensifying over the years and things reaching a boiling point after Barcelona refused to give Real Madrid the guard of honor after winning the FIFA Club World Cup. But Zidane is planning to name his strongest available side against Barcelona.

Anyhow, seeing that Barca have been impressive at their Camp Nou this season, we do not believe that there is a big value in betting on Cristiano Ronaldo and Co. "We have changed some subtle things but there is no time", Caparros said on Thursday.

On the possibility of his players looking to avoid injury ahead of the Liverpool clash, Zidane added: "We can't think about that".

Sparks always fly when Barcelona face Real Madrid and there should still be plenty on show to keep viewers captivated despite it having no bearing on the destination of the championship trophy.

The motivation to retain their unbeaten status after Sunday is very high - a feat they nearly managed in the 2009/10 season under Pep Guardiola.

It could even be argued this match will go some way to defining the seasons of these two teams.

"We also saw the other side with someone like Paulinho, people weren't very happy when he arrived in Barcelona and now he's gone onto become an important hero, an unexpected hero for Barcelona supporters".

Today Ernesto Valverde only has six at his disposal, with Iniesta also on his way at the end of the season, which is in contrast to Real Madrid, where Zinedine Zidane has eight players from the ranks, a third of his full squad.



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