Xavi’s side have conceded just one goal all season in La Liga but now face Real Madrid.© AFP
Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti warned his team that Barcelona had been “spectacular” in La Liga despite their Champions League struggles. Barcelona are on the brink of elimination from the Champions League after a 3-3 home draw with Inter Milan but head into Sunday’s Clasico at the Santiago Bernabeu top of the table and unbeaten in the top flight. Xavi’s side have conceded just one goal all season in La Liga and lead Real Madrid on goal difference, both sides sitting at the top of the table with 22 points.
“We’re looking at a team that has won all their games in La Liga after playing their first draw. They are in very good form in the league,” Ancelotti said at a press conference on Saturday.
“They’ve done very well since the start of the competition. They struggled in the Champions League, which usually happens in this competition, but in La Liga they were spectacular.”
The manager recalled last season’s 4-0 defeat by Barcelona at the Santiago Bernabeu, where he acted as a false nine with Luka Modric in the absence of striker Karim Benzema.
“It’s true that last year I tried to invent something and I paid the price for it,” said Ancelotti.
“Last year’s game will not affect us because this is another season, another Clasico. We look forward to playing this game for the whole world to see.”
Ancelotti confirmed goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois is back in training after recovering from sciatica but will not feature in the Clasico, while Antonio Rudiger can play with a protective mask.
The German defender suffered a serious facial injury in the Champions League against Shakhtar Donetsk, where he scored a last-minute goal but collided with the opposition keeper’s head.
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