Important but not decisive, says Luis Enrique

Important but not decisive, says Luis Enrique

The FC Barcelona manager refused to accept his side are favourites against Real Madrid, but admits that home advantage is a huge bonus

In front of a packed pressroom on Saturday, Luis Enrique discussed his team’s prospects in the Sunday's Clásico against Real Madrid. “It’s an important game but not a decisive one” he said. “There are still ten very difficult games ahead of us … But games with Madrid are certainly different to any others. They are our eternal rivals and the closest team to us in the table. If we win, it also means they get no points, and there’s also our head-to-head goal difference to bear in mind. There’s a lot to look forward to.”

The following are some of the most relevant comments made by the Barça manager in today’s press conference:

On potential favourites

“There are no clear favourites in games like these. These are two top quality teams with a lot at stake. But we do have home advantage and playing in front of our own fans always gives us that extra boost”.

“We won’t fall into the trap of thinking it will be easy. We know the defence will be under serious pressure at times and we hope the fans can focus their excitement on helping us when things like that happen”.

On a golden opportunity

“This is a nice chance to put some space between us. We’ll need to play our best, and be solid both in defence and attack. And supported by the Camp Nou”.

On a unique occasion

“These are special games. They’re attractive. They’re stimulating. The fans always look forward to this fixture and I hope we can bring them some joy by playing good football”.

“It’s not quite as intense as a manager. You have to control what’s happening on the pitch. It’s more about keeping your cool and making decisions at the right time”.

On the game he wants

“We’ll try to carry on doing what we have done up to now, which is create more chances than the opposition, control the pace of the game, have players in the right place at the right time, control our emotions and push each other in the right direction”.

“We like to control the ball and, as much as possible, do so in the opposition’s half. And we like to move the ball around the field as a unit and finish off our moves”.

On what he expects from Madrid

“I expect a similar Madrid to the first game. Well positioned in their half, ready to get the ball forward and with infinite resources to draw upon. They can dominate in loads of areas of the game”.

On Sergio Busquets' fitness

“He has been training with the squad for the last three days, but not at one hundred per cent. He is not in perfect condition, but he’ll get there.”

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