David Ramos - Getty Images
Barcelona were dealt a huge blow today as it was confirmed that Gerard Pique will not play a part in tonight's Clasico. The Spaniard had been making huge steps towards recovery in training, but was left out of the squad after missing training on Sunday morning
Barcelona have confirmed that Gerard Pique will miss the Clasico against Real Madrid after failing to recover from an ankle injury in time. But despite also participating in a work-out with the rest of his team-mates on Saturday, Pique failed to train in Sunday's last session, instead spending much of midday undertaking specific gym work.
FC Barcelona - Real Madrid, 10/07/2012 | FC Barcelona
This Sunday’s match will be the Clásico of the opportunities. FC Barcelona receives Real Madrid with an eight-point lead and a golden opportunity to make it eleven before the second international break of the season. Eleven points wouldn’t be definitive, but it would be a considerable advantage with just seven games played. And the players have the extra motivation that never before in the history of the Club has the team won the opening seven games of a league season. It could be a great day.
El Clasico: Jose Mourinho under more pressure | The Sun |Sport|Football
Champions Real are eight points behind leaders Barca but Mourinho insisted: "It’s not obligatory to win El Clasico. "We must rediscover the level that helped us win La Liga last year. If we do that being eight or 10 points behind won’t matter."
FC Barcelona- Vilanova before The Clásico - YouTube
Tito Vilanova's press conference prior to tonight's Clasico
Juanma Lillo tells Real Madrid: Barcelona will have the ball, whether you like it or not - Goal.com
Lillo, who would have ended up as Barca coach had Lluis Bassat beaten Joan Laporta to the club's presidency in 2003, with Pep Guardiola as sporting director, believes little has changed since Tito Vilanova took the reins at Camp Nou over the summer and says it is Madrid who will need to alter their game on Sunday, not the Catalans. Lillo says Barcelona need not change their playing style in Sunday's game, saying that their possession play means the opposition - in this case Jose Mourinho's Madrid - must adapt.
Oscar begs Neymar to join Chelsea | Mail Online
Neymar said: 'Oscar messages me to tell me what a great club Chelsea is and what a great city London is. He and Dani are both very good salesmen for their clubs. 'When the time is right I will listen to the right offers that my agent has for me. It is very simple - if Barcelona are interested you listen, if Real Madrid are interested you listen, if Chelsea are interested you listen.'
La Liga roundup: Oscar González secures draw for Real Valladolid | Football | guardian.co.uk
Oscar González's header 10 minutes from time secured a 1-1 draw for Real Valladolid and denied 10-man Espanyol their first win of the La Liga season. The visitors were dealt a blow when Victor Alvarez was sent off just before half-time, but defied their numerical disadvantage to take the lead through Joan Verdú's penalty. Valladolid were level 10 minutes later, though, when Oscar headed home Patrick Ebert's corner.
La Liga Saturday: On a 'red' day, Real Betis up to fourth | News | NDTVSports.com
Real Betis bounced back from two straight defeats with a 2-0 win over Real Sociedad on Saturday on a black night for La Liga which saw five red cards brandished in just four matches.