Published: Sun, October 28, 2018
Sport | By Tony Jimenez

Barcelona Await Stumbling Real Madrid at Camp Nou on Sunday

Barcelona Await Stumbling Real Madrid at Camp Nou on Sunday

"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. Real Madrid must try out new ideas on the pitch to live without such an important player like Ronaldo.

Ronaldo joined Juventus for an initial €100 million (£88m/$117m) in the summer after nine glittering seasons in the Spanish capital. With Ronaldo now departed, can the former Lyon man refind his form and deliver against Barca on Sunday for Los Blancos?

"It is hard to deal with the exit of a man who guarantees you 40 or 50 goals a season", the Chilean explained to Goal .

Barca warmed up for the Clasico with a 2-0 Group B defeat of Inter in the Champions League, Rafinha opening the scoring as he deputised for injured captain Lionel Messi.

Courtois, after three seasons on loan at Atletico Madrid, returned to the London club and played for Mourinho until the Portuguese was dismissed in December 2015.

Bale has been slow to start the season but does have three goals in eight La Liga appearances to his name.

Dembele joined Barcelona from Borussia Dortmund for 105 million euros a year ago but his first campaign was blighted by injury while doubts remain about the Frenchman's habit for losing possession.

Real Madrid will travel to the Camp Nou to engage the Blaugrana in the first Clasico of the campaign. With 15 minutes left to play, Bale scored a stunning equaliser with a shot from outside the box. "That is enough motivation to turn it into an opportunity to recover confidence, faith and hope".

Messi will be back in El Clasico of course, but never against Ronaldo.

"When Madrid are hurting, that's when they're at their most risky".

Midfielders, Sergio Busquets and Ivan Rakitic are expected to hold the midfield position for Valverde's side, while Sergi Roberto will start at right-back. For the first time in almost 11 years, the two sides will take to the field with neither Lionel Messi nor Cristiano Ronaldo in their respective squad sheets.

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