Lopetegui hopes to save Madrid's season_ and job_ at Barca

Jo Caldwell
October 28, 2018

Barcelona face Real Madrid in El Clasico on Sunday (15:15 GMT) - but for the first time in almost 11 years, one of football's most famous rivalries will feature neither Lionel Messi nor Cristiano Ronaldo.

When Barca went three games without a win last month, the feeling was both clubs were in crisis.

Barcelona's next match, their first showdown of the season with Real Madrid, is likely to be a more challenging test for the team, especially with Messi expected to still be unavailable due to his injury. "It's such a big game, and the whole world wants to watch it". Ronaldo scored the victor shortly to silence the Nou Camp.

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Madrid hasn't lost in its last four visits to Barcelona, although those results came under coach Zinedine Zindane and with Cristiano Ronaldo leading the team that he left in the offseason for Juventus.

The high scoring match between the two giants was settled by a side-foot finish by Lionel Messi in the 92nd minute to send the Barcelona fan into ecstasy.

"Being a unit is what helped us win the league last season".

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My problem remains the same. "We can try and we will work, but I need the cooperation of the players". The more I play the better I'll get as well.

Regarding bookmakers with PariMatch, they have odds on the victory of "Barcelona" is 1.53. Luis Suarez, Arthur and Philippe Coutinho were all excellent in Messi's absence on Wednesday.

It was December 23, 2007, and Julio Baptista's Christmas cracker of a strike found the top corner to sink Frank Rijkaard's Barcelona, Madrid triumphing by the solitary goal. And before Barcelona still have to play in the Champions League against inter.

MISSING GOALS When Real Madrid sold Ronaldo in July, fans and local media alike all asked the same question: how do you replace him? "We have to be recognisable in the way we play, keeping the ball".

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The only Barca players with reason to be anxious as forward Ousmane Dembele and Malcome, who took no part in the game despite Messi's absence and can expect more of the same at the weekend. I am convinced about what we are doing and we are thinking about preparing for Sunday's game, which is very important and one for which we have great ambition.

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