Published: Sun, October 28, 2018
Sport | By Patty Hardy

El Clasico : La Liga lucky to have Messi, Ronaldo, says Guardiola

El Clasico : La Liga lucky to have Messi, Ronaldo, says Guardiola

It boils down to not having a finisher like Cristiano Ronaldo in attack.

Barcelona next faces Real Madrid in the Spanish league on Sunday.

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.

World football's biggest game will be missing the sport's two biggest stars. The first leg of this year's El Clasico at the Nou Camp promises another realm of fire and here's why. 'And that goes to show that we are working well and working hard, and have the motivation to please our fans. The high octane clash sees a lot of passion in the players and everyone right from the players to the referee is under pressure.

Icardi and Inter were looking to take advantage of Messi's absence, with the Barca captain and five-time Ballon d'Or victor sidelined due to a fractured arm. "The Clasico is always the Clasico".

"It's going to be a attractive game like all the Clasicos", he told ESPN.

In Germany, LaLiga rivals Atletico Madrid suffered their heaviest Champions League defeat of coach Diego Simeone's seven-year spell with a 4-0 thrashing at Borussia Dortmund.

When Barca went three games without a win last month, the feeling was both clubs were in crisis. Things looked grim for the Los Blancos after the sending off of Sergio Ramos, but they did well to turn the result on its head. A win will move Madrid closer to Barcelona on the log with just a point between them. He had only played 111 minutes this season before getting the start on Wednesday. The first half was played out cautiously by the two teams but the game opened up after the break. The team has created chances but the scoring boost has been absent.

The absence of Lionel Messi, out for three weeks with a fractured arm, dominated all the talk - pre-match, post-match and in the stands. They can do damage because they're a great team with great players. The victor by Messi was his 500th goal for Barcelona and what a stage to claim the prize.

A loss could mean the end for manager Julen Lopetegui, who was sacked over the summer as coach of the Spanish national team for talking about the Real Madrid job. On the Real Madrid side, it's likely Isco or Marco Asensio, but because Barcelona is in a good moment, expect something huge from somebody like Philippe Coutinho or Ousmane Dembele.

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