Sunday, 18 November, 2018

Real chief makes decision on Lopetegui ahead of El Clasico

Former Chelsea manager Antonio Conte is one of the favourites for the vacant Real Madrid job GETTY IMAGESFormer Chelsea manager Antonio Conte is one of the favourites for the vacant Real Madrid job
Domingo Copeland | 28 October, 2018, 08:31

But that doesn't mean a win is not possible. We come into the game on the back of two good matches and it's the culmination of an important week.

Madrid's chaotic performance had weakened his position, not strengthened it.

"They were strong and very aggressive in the first half and we didn't use the ball in the right way, if we'd managed possession better we could have hurt them". "The confidence in my opinion is not a problem", said Kroos.

It's going to happen again this weekend as Ronaldo has ventured to Serie A and Messi has picked up an arm injury.

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.

Thibaut Courtois of Real Madrid in action during the La Liga match between Real Madrid CF and Club Atletico de Madrid at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu on September 29, 2018 in Madrid, Spain.

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Barcelona trained at 11:00 on Saturday morning and Ernesto Valverde spoke to the press afterwards. "The crises in teams like Madrid are always blown out of proportion, and then the players step up".

Two more Madrid defeats followed to leave Lopetegui on the brink while Barca have taken 10 points from 12 and are top of the table.

Midfielder Rafinha took Messi's place in midweek against Inter Milan and Valverde said he already knows his team for Madrid's visit, although he would not confirm if it would be the same side which beat the Italians 2-0. "Lopetegui's side will come here and looking to show their strength and I'm not taking anything for granted".

Their underwhelming start to the season follows a transfer window in which Madrid allowed Cristiano Ronaldo to depart for Juventus and did not make a move to replace him.

"It is hard to deal with the exit of a man who guarantees you 40 or 50 goals a season", the Chilean explained to Goal . Even the club had posted an article on its website this week entitled "no need to panic", detailing their "not so bad" record without him.

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