No Messi, No Ronaldo: Who will headline the El Clasico on Sunday ?

Barcelona cruise past Inter without Messi

Barcelona team news: Expected XI vs Inter Milan, Lionel Messi out of Champions League tie

Real Madrid's dire run of form makes them an even more unsafe prospect for La Liga leaders Barcelona in Sunday's "Clasico", Barca coach Ernesto Valverde said on Saturday. "It includes lies that harm me as a professional and I expect a rectification as I ponder taking legal action".

Despite Real's problems, a win for the European champions would see them cut the gap behind Barca down to a single point.

"The Clasico existed before that".

Real Madrid can move on from the departure of Cristiano Ronaldo despite their struggles since the exit of the five-time world footballer of the year, according to former striker Julio Baptista. "The Clasico is always the Clasico".

Real Madrid head to the El Clasico showdown at Camp Nou, keen on improving their seventh spot placing, four points adrift of Barcelona, at the top of the La Liga log.

The 26-year-old is also hopeful that Messi will finish his career at Barcelona.

"I don't think they've stopped dominating games".

Real Madrid left-back Marcelo is fit after recovering from a knock which saw him come off against Viktoria Plzen in midweek.

"We knew what Rafinha could give us, from the first to last minute he worked extremely hard", Valverde said.

"We knew how hard this match would be and we wanted to keep it open until the end, with some chances to do something positive".

"There was talk of tactics, emotions and the absent Lionel Messi, but most of the questions posed to Ernesto Valverde focused on Real Madrid, perhaps a reflection of what are hard times for Barca's bitter rivals". Lopetegui was under pressure, but so was Valverde. To him, his followers are his best friends and he would go a long way to ensure that he keeps them refreshed and entertained. And before Barcelona still have to play in the Champions League against inter.

"The Clasico is played from many points of view: from a tactical point of view, from an emotional one".

The Tottenham boss is the latest name to be linked with the vacancy at the Bernabeu with Julen Lopetegui expected to be sacked imminently after a awful start to the season in La Liga.

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