‘Barcelona must play a near perfect game to beat Real Madrid’

Barcelona coach knows his side must be at their best if they are to beat José Mourinho's league leaders at the Bernabéu

pep guardiola
Guardiola's side are three points behind Madrid having played a game more Photo: The Sport Review

pep guardiola

Pep Guardiola admits his Barcelona side will have to produce a “near perfect” display if they are to beat Real Madrid in Saturday’s El Clásico.

Barça travel to the Bernabéu trailing José Mourinho’s La Liga leaders by three points and having played a game more than their fierce rivals – and Guardiola says the visitors must be at their best if they want to stand any chance of leaving the Spanish capital with three points.

Guadiola said: “We must defend well, move the ball around well, find spaces, and be attentive and quick. We must be sharp.”

“I think they will come out to pressure high up the pitch, they’ve done well in the past with this strategy, but we will be ready for any situation.

“Last year we played against each other five times. I haven’t forgotten what happened then or in the Super Cup. We know each other well and we have to play a near perfect game to beat them.

“Whoever is behind [in the league] always needs it a little bit more. It’s obvious that we have a lot to play for.

“The game won’t be definitive, but it is important. If you aren’t aware of the importance of a match at the Barnabéu, it’s difficult to come away with anything positive.”

Real Madrid have been in stunning form so far this season, winning their last 10 La Liga games and 15 in all competitions – and Mourinho believes his side are in better shape than last season.

“You never know ““ in football there are always surprises,” said Mourinho. “But right now we feel more confident and we are a better team than last season.”

But the Real Madrid coach moved to play down the significance of Saturday’s clash. “It is one more game and there is not much time until it starts,” he added. “That is normal for us. For everyone else it is a different game, but for us life continues as normal.”

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