Ronald Koeman: 'We're expecting a more compact Real Madrid'
The coach says that "even with previous results, Real Madrid won't have low morale, because there is never a lack of motivation in El Clásico"
Ronald Koeman has his first El Clásico as a coach this Saturday (4pm CEST), and ahead of the game at the Camp Nou he spoke to the media in his pre-match press conference.
"It's a different game to the rest. You always feel more pressure, but I've been in football for many years. I'm used to dealing with this pressure," said the Barça boss.
The Dutchman also spoke about the fact that the match will be held behind closed doors, saying that "the game will be strange, as when you play at home in these kinds of games the fans are almost an extra man. We hope that soon we can have our supporters back at the stadium."
Whilst playing his cards close to his chest regarding the starting XI he will choose for Saturday's encounter, Koeman explained his general philosophy.
"We will always field the best team for each game, and it doesn't depend on the age of a player."
Barça welcome back Jordi Alba to the squad and his coach revealed that "we will have to wait to see if there are any novelties tomorrow, but he has a chance of playing."
"Real Madrid possibly haven't been at their best level in previous games, but that doesn't mean that they will come here with low morale. Real Madrid are an experienced side and have the quality required to win the game."
Koeman is expecting "a more compact side, leaving fewer spaces," and recalled his El Clásico appearances as a player: "The one that I remember the most is the 5-0 win, but in my first game against Real Madrid I scored two penalties -actually, three, because one I had to retake because of encroachment."
“The players deserve to win this game because of the work they are doing every day. Winning games shows that you are on the right path."