Barcelona coach Xavi has spoken to reporters to preview Saturday’s Clasico clash with Real Madrid at Montjuic.
Xavi spoke about the game, his injured players and whether Ronald Araujo or Joao Cancelo will mark Vinicius Junior.
Here are the best bits:
Xavi on El Clasico
it is the game that everyone wants to play, if we do well it would mean a boost in morale and confidence and we would overtake a direct rival. It is a very important match, Everyone wants to play. It is 50/50. There is almost never a favourite. In my experience, the Clásico is unpredictable
Xavi on Barca’s injured players
I was also surprised to see them in training, players that we ruled out still want to be there. They are feeling better and we will see how they are tomorrow before naming the squad.
Xavi on if Lewandowski will play
He is fine, I will not give you the lineup or any clues. He is fine and I will decide tomorrow.
Xavi on if Araujo or Cancelo will mark Vinicius
We have Cancelo now to stop Vinicius, it is his natural position, tomorrow we will see. He’s versatile. We have many options. He can play as a full-back, interior and he can also play at the base of the midfield. We’ll see tomorrow.
Xavi on injured players Part 2
Those who are better will play, what we cannot do is make the mistake of putting in a player who is not 100%. We will see how they are tomorrow.
Xavi on Barca’s plan
We will have to be more careful in defense, but our plan will not change. We have to be brave and dominate the game with the ball
Xavi on Joao Felix
I didn’t know that he hadn’t scored against Madrid, it’s a good time for him to score his first goal tomorrow against them. Joao adapts very well to the position we want. It’s his ideal position. He’s not a number 9 or an attacking midfielder. I see him more as a second forward with freedom to create play.
Xavi on if Lewandowski and De Jong could start
If they tell me that they are 100%, of course they will play.
Xavi on if Pedri injuries are from playing too much
We will never know. It’s the first thing you think about, so many loads, games, but we don’t know. With Pedri we are on schedule. There is no problem with Pedri or with anyone.
Xavi on Gavi
He has matured a lot. If I remember correctly, the first year he was sent off once and this year once. He is fundamental for the team and he is very passionate. He gives us soul.