Watch Out For "Wounded" Real Madrid, Warns Barcelona Coach Ernesto Valverde

Barcelona cruise past Inter without Messi

Barcelona cruise past Inter without Messi

But he says: "I don't think I'll die". So I will not dedicate even 0.1 percent of my energy to that question. On Saturday, Athletic Bilbao host fellow surprise strugglers Valencia, while Real Sociedad visit Atletico Madrid in the day's late kick-off.

"We have seen several games without goals and that is worrying because Real Madrid have always scored".

That will make this Clasico the first to be played without either star since 2007.

'They believe in me and I believe in them, ' Lopetegui said. "We are working well, working hard".

"This result is a great confidence boost for all of us and when Sunday brings the Clasico we'll be so up for it".

"This game is sufficiently big, important and motivating for them not to be thinking about all these things that interest you [media]". "We focus on the rival, of course, but on what they can do".

'We know how Madrid is, the more badly it is hurt, the more risky it is, ' Valverde said. Right-back Dani Carvajal and Jesus Vallejo.

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For the first time in over 10 years the Clasico will take place without either Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo starting.

"We don't focus too much on [stories that Madrid are in crisis]", Valverde said. "Then when we have to defend, we will defend. It is a period for us without Messi and we want to miss him while we're winning".

There were disgruntled whistles at full-time on Tuesday, the home fans deflated after watching a team that featured UEFA's best goalkeeper, defender and player hang on for a 2-1 victory over Viktoria Plzen.

Messi has been in scintillating form this season, scoring seven and laying on another five goals in Spain's top flight, while also hitting five in the Champions League.

"But I mostly focus on our own play, to attack well and defend well, not commit mistakes, be effective, and be confident in our ability to damage the opponent".

Inter's halftime substitute Matteo Politano anxious Marc-Andre ter Stegen twice shortly after coming on, first with a cross that the Barcelona goalkeeper had to parry and then with a shot that went high.

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