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Gerard Pique: ‘There are no favourites in El Clasico

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Barcelona centre-back Gerard Pique has insisted that there are no favourites in El Clasico, as the Catalan giants prepare to welcome Real Madrid to Camp Nou on Sunday afternoon.

Ronald Koeman’s side are currently down in seventh spot in La Liga, while Real Madrid sit third, two points above their opponents this weekend.

Los Blancos are viewed by many as the favourites to triumph in El Clasico due to Barcelona’s struggles this season, but Pique has played down any talk of a straightforward contest for Carlo Ancelotti’s team.

“If they want to be favourites, we’ll give them that label, no problem. But there are no favourites in a Clasico and that’s been shown historically,” Pique told reporters.

“I think we both come into it well, we’ve got through our moments of crisis and we’re up there in La Liga [Santander] and recovering in the Champions League.”

Barcelona will enter Sunday’s contest off the back of successive wins over Valencia and Dinamo Kiev in the league and Champions League respectively.

Meanwhile Real Madrid midfielder Federico Valverde has said that Los Blancos “are highly motivated” to overcome Barcelona in Sunday’s El Clasico at Camp Nou.

Carlo Ancelotti’s side will enter the contest off the back of a 5-0 win over Shakhtar Donetsk in the Champions League on Tuesday night.

federico-valverde we have been motivated to beat Barca.

However, Real Madrid have not been in league action since a 2-1 loss to Espanyol on October 3, and Valverde has insisted that his team must be “united” in order to overcome their bitter rivals.

“I’m a bit nervous, but also excited and really proud to be able to play in these types of games,” Valverde told Real Madrid TV.

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“We [the Real Madrid players] are highly motivated to win this game. We have to be united, I think that’s crucial. Whoever plays, whether it’s from the start or later on, has to be ready for the demands of the coaching staff.

“That’s essential for everyone. Everyone has to chip in with their part here. I think it’s going to be a great season for us if we can do that.”

Real Madrid are currently third in Spain’s top flight, having picked up 17 points from their opening eight matches of the 2021-22 campaign.

 

 

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