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

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As a result, coach Julen Lopetegui goes into the Clasico with his job under threat, but Valverde expects a reaction from Madrid, who are only four points behind league leaders Barca despite their poor form.

Barcelona emerged victorious from their Champions League clash against Inter Milan on Wednesday evening, with Rafinha, the player drafted in as Messi's replacement, scoring the opening goal in the 32nd minute. "It includes lies that harm me as a professional and I expect a rectification as I ponder taking legal action".

"I don't think they've stopped dominating games".

"We know how Madrid is, the more badly it is hurt, the more unsafe it is", Valverde said.

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"They trust in me, and I trust even more in them", he said.

Madrid ended a five-match winless run in all competitions by beating Viktoria Plzen 2-1 in the Champions League in midweek, but that unconvincing performance may have only delayed the inevitable for Lopetegui.

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

"Real Madrid remain a top team, either with or without Cristiano".

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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.

Real Madrid can move on from the departure of Cristiano Ronaldo despite their struggles since the exit of the five-time world footballer of the year, according to former striker Julio Baptista. "It is a shame that Messi is not available for Barca, but they still have the players to win the game".

It's been nearly 11 years since an El Clasico took place with neither Cristiano Ronaldo nor Lionel Messi on the pitch.

"We must play with great confidence but the minimum of arrogance given the good spell we are going through". We have a certain style, then Messi gives us a touch of brilliance that is extraordinary.

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"Messi often gets us out of jail in hard games against low blocks and obviously we want him to get better as soon as possible". We are a very good team, as are they.

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