Barcelona manager, Xavi Hernandez speaks on the favourites to win the El Clasico.
Barcelona manager Xavi Hernandez has stated that the match against Real Madrid will be fiercely contested but that his team will be slight favourites because they will be playing in front of their fans.
Xavi leads his team into the fourth El Clasico of the season, having won two. Although they lost the first league games against Real Madrid, the Spanish manager believes his team are marginal favourites to get their revenge.
What Xavi said
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Xavi was speaking today at the press conference ahead of the El Clasico tomorrow. The Barcelona manager stated that a win would not be decisive in the title race, despite the fact that it would extend his team's lead at the top of the table to 12 points.
"Winning would not be a definitive blow,” Xavi said, per Relevo.
“But it would be a strong blow. Whatever happens, will not be definitive; nothing will be decided".
Xavi on favourites
When asked who he thought would be the favourites going into the tie, Xavi said he thought it was even but added that the scales tip slightly in his team's favour because they are playing at Camp Nou.
“I think it's 50-50. Maybe a little more for us, because we're playing in front of our fans."
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Barcelona took a famous defensive approach in the last Clasico, where they beat Madrid 1-0 in the Copa del Rey thanks to an Eder Militao own goal.
Xavi said his team will try a more offensive approach this time, and they will seek to dominate the ball.
However, he was defensive of the pragmatic approach employed in the first leg, saying Barcelona won their first Champions League by a 1-0 scoreline.
"We envision a match in which we will try to have more of the ball than in the last one. Much more than the Cup match. Madrid has physically improved a lot from January to now.”
"We are never going to close behind. We are proactive, we try to press high. Another thing is that we end up coming out of that high pressure. We always want to have the ball".
" Barça's first European Cup was won 1-0 and nobody said anything like that. I don't know why now."
Barcelona play Real Madrid tomorrow evening at Camp Nou, 9:00 PM West African Time.
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