Man City boss Guardiola eager to watch El Clasico - without Messi, Ronaldo

Man City boss Guardiola eager to watch El Clasico - without Messi, Ronaldo

"Spanish football was lucky to enjoy Messi and Ronaldo during the last decade".

'They believe in me and I believe in them, ' Lopetegui said.

It will be the first Clasico without either Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo since 2007. These are part and parcel of El Clasico which always has drama as its central characteristic.

Madrid have won just one of their last six games in all competitions and are without a win in La Liga since they beat Espanyol on September 22, a run spanning four games.

A positive result against Inter would set them up nicely for Sunday's clash against Madrid, whose poor form has put the future of coach Julen Lopetegui in doubt.

'We have to be able to play our style, that is the key, ' Valverde said.

"Of course we miss him, but we want to miss him while winning".

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. They were clearly better than us, but we should have done more with some of our attacking chances.

"Madrid will be even more unsafe", Valverde said on Wednesday. I expect the best Madrid. There were moments at the start of the season when Madrid was playing brilliantly'. "It is a shame that Messi is not available for Barca, but they still have the players to win the game".

Thomas Vermaelen and Samuel Umtiti are also unavailable.

Sergi Samper and Carles Alena are the only other players not named in the 19-man squad for the game.

Los Blancos' lowly position of seventh in LaLiga has heaped pressure on head coach Julen Lopetegui after only a few months in the job, with Tuesday's win against Viktoria Plzen snapping a five-match winless run in all competitions.

"I don´t really give any thought to "Messidepenencia", Valverde said. That is what makes us strong.

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

"Messi is an exceptional player, because when you think you have seen everything in football he comes and shows you something else".

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