Published: Sun, October 28, 2018
Sports | By Toni Houston

Michael Essien tips Real Madrid to win this weekend's El Clasico

Michael Essien tips Real Madrid to win this weekend's El Clasico

"On Sunday we have a game that motivates us a huge amount".

For Valverde, Madrid are even more unsafe when they are desperate for a victory over their chief rival.

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.

Ronaldo left Madrid in the summer to join Juventus, and Messi fractured a bone in his arm last weekend against Sevilla, ruling him out for three weeks.

Under-fire Real Madrid manager Julen Lopetegui insists he has the full belief of his players ahead of El Clasico showdown with Barcelona. We've got to put in a great shift at San Siro and get points to go through. We are focused on training well, preparing well, and being in the best condition possible tomorrow for the game.

"They were strong and very aggressive in the first half and we didn't use the ball in the right way, if we'd managed possession better we could have hurt them".

Then Messi blew away Tottenham at Wembley and, a day later, Madrid lost 1-0 to CSKA Moscow, lacking the snap and spark Ronaldo once provided and that Messi had given the night before.

Reuters  ALBERT GEA
Reuters ALBERT GEA

"When Madrid are hurting, that's when they're at their most risky. There are no favorites for the Clasico even if I think that playing at home is always a good starting point".

Although he never took part in a clasico during his career as a goalkeeper, he was at Real Madrid from 1988-91 and Barcelona between 1994-97.

"We know what Madrid are like, they are more risky when they are wounded", said Valverde at a press conference on the eve of the game.

"I'm looking at several options, several players who can play in that position or we could change the system".

Nerazzurri coach Luciano Spalletti told a post-match press conference: "We didn't show as much character compared to our first two Champions League games". We have to keep doing that, in defence and in attack.

This will be the first Clasico without Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo since December 2007.

"We want to do well".

Let's Play Red Dead Redemption 2
A press release from Rockstar has confirmed the review embargo for Red Dead Redemption 2 will lift early tomorrow morning. Because the information would be on a different screen, you can play the game without a HUD for improved immersion.

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