Published: Sun, October 28, 2018
Sport | By Stuart Potter

Tactics, pre-game plans, Courtois and Modric — Real Madrid round-up

Tactics, pre-game plans, Courtois and Modric — Real Madrid round-up

Argentine football star Lionel Messi suffered an injury in Barcelona's 4-2 win over Sevilla on Saturday, sending shockwaves across the Camp Nou, with fans anxious the club might struggle while the key playmaker recovers.

Two more Madrid defeats followed to leave Lopetegui on the brink while Barca have taken 10 points from 12 and are top of the table.

Local media say that Lopetegui could be sacked if Madrid lose the Clasico, and he was defiant when asked about these reports.

"The Clasico existed before that". In fact, before there were pigs' heads flying [at Luis Figo, in 2002], there was tension.

Lopetegui played a 4-4-2 against Roma, which was Real Madrid's best performance of the season.

Real Madrid coach Julen Lopetegui has said speculation over his future will not affect his team's preparation for Sunday's Clasico away at Barcelona. "We focus on the rival, of course, but on what they can do". They pressed very high during the first half, stopping us from passing the ball well and exploiting space, therefore, we were not able to threaten. 'The crises in teams like Madrid are always blown out of proportion, and then the players step up. Madrid will be such as risky opponent.

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"I expect to keep breathing whatever happens", Lopetegui said. "I think everyone at the stadium missed him". They played well earlier in the season, even if they're on a bad run now in terms of results. Bookmakers estimated the chances of each team to win. "It's something I am cautious about".

Valverde not only has to find a suitable replacement but also has to ensure Messi's absence doesn't damage his side's confidence.

Sergi Samper and Carles Alena are the only other players not named in the 19-man squad for the game. "We know it will be hard, but we are ready to play a great game".

"I'm looking at several options, several players who can play in that position or we could change the system". We are solid with or without Messi. Many of us have to fix things. Sunday's game is a great motivation for us.

"We want to do well".

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