Barcelona boss Ronald Koeman does not think Saturday’s (today) El Clasico match will determine who wins the LaLiga title.
Second-place Barcelona face archrivals Real Madrid, who are just three points off top spot in LaLiga Santander, at the Estadio Alfredo Di Stefano.
Koeman’s side have 65 points from 29 games, two ahead of their hosts.
Atletico Madrid lead the log with 66 points from the same number of games.
“A Clasico is a different game to the others. Barcelona are doing well, we are on a good run, we are fighting to win,” Koeman said during Friday’s pre-Clasico press conference.
“The result is not decisive, because after Saturday’s (today) game we still have many games to go and it’s difficult for any team to win all their matches.
“The team that wins (the Clasico) will have an important morale boost to build on.”
Reflecting on the first Clasico between the two sides, which Los Blancos won 3-1 at the Camp Nou, Koeman believes that Barcelona have improved a lot since then.
“We were better (in the first Clasico), especially before half time, then of course we lost the game in the second half,” he noted.
“The VAR with that penalty had an influence on the result, but it’s not true that we were bad at that time and now we are much better.
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“The team has had chances all season, we have improved our finishing, in defence, the system we changed during the game. We don’t have to go crazy because it’s Madrid, we have to play our own game, (do) our own things.”
Koeman also admits that the Blaugrana will need Lionel Messi at his best if they are to come away from the Estadio Alfredo Di Stefano with a positive result.
“We need the best Messi (to win), but we need the best Barcelona,” Koeman stated.
“We have to do things perfectly well, with our attack, passes, moves.”
Real Madrid are without Sergio Ramos and Raphael Varane, but Koeman thinks Los Blancos coped well without them against Liverpool.
“For them they are important absentees,” he added.
“We have absentees too – Sergi Roberto and (Gerard) Pique have been out for a while.
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