Published: Sun, October 28, 2018
Sport | By Ashley Hunter

Barca can still win 'beautiful' Clasico without Messi - Griezmann

Barca can still win 'beautiful' Clasico without Messi - Griezmann

Barcelona trained without injured superstar Lionel Messi on Saturday in the final practice session before the first El Clasico duel of the 2018-19 La Liga season with arch-rival Real Madrid.

Barca go into the match - featuring two teams with six points from their opening two Group B games - without their talisman after he suffered a broken bone in his arm in Saturday's win over Sevilla.

Lopetegui said Messi's absence was not a big factor in his preparations for the game.

The veteran Spanish midfielder then spoke on the current state of the group with Inter remaining in second place despite their loss at the Camp Nou.

Only Messi (26) has scored more Clasico goals than Ronaldo, who is level with Madrid great Alfredo Di Stefano on 18.

Back to when Ronaldinho, Deco and Yaya Toure were running the show for Barcelona, Robinho, Raul and Ruud Van Nistelrooy led the line for Real Madrid and Sergio Ramos was still a right-back.

His arm in a sling and a wide grin across his face, Lionel Messi was able to enjoy Barcelona's handsome play from the stands for once. "It is a period for us without Messi and we want to miss him while we're winning".

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Inter coach Luciano Spalletti expressed his relief that Messi had not been on the pitch, with his charges struggling to deal with the "many problems" posed by Barcelona's play. Victory all-but secures Barcelona's passage to the Champions League last 16 too.

For Valverde, Madrid are even more risky when they are desperate for a victory over their chief rival. "Madrid is in need of a win to go forward, It will be a nice game to watch".

And in attack, Ousmane Dembele and Philippe Coutinho will be expected to flank Luis Suarez.

Where are Madrid's goals without Ronaldo?

"Lopetegui? Real Madrid don't wait for anybody", he added. We also see quite a few players being sent off in the clash which has become a pattern of sorts.

However, failure to beat Inter just four days before they entertain Real Madrid in "El Clasico" would sow the seeds of doubt ahead of one of their biggest games of the season.

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