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Ernesto Valverde talks Real Madrid, Arthur and VAR ahead of El Clasico

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The latest from the Barcelona boss

Barcelona Training & Press Conference Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images

Ernesto Valverde faced the press on Tuesday to talk all things El Clasico ahead of Barcelona’s meeting with Real Madrid at the Camp Nou.

The Barcelona boss did not face too many tough questions and gave very little away to be honest, but here’s a look at what he did say ahead of the match.

Valverde on Real Madrid

It’s still early in the season. A lot of games still to be played. We’d like to have been further ahead but there’s a long way to go. It’s very tight in every aspect, compared to some Clasicos we’ve played before. These are always tight and intense games. This is the first half of the season and there are many matches to go, but both teams would like to be ahead after this match

Valverde on Camp Nou Clasicos

Real Madrid usually play well here with a lot of intensity and that’s what we expect from them. In LaLiga, it was different with the 5-1, but in the Copa we drew and in the league we also drew 2-2 the season before.

Valverde on Arthur

It will be difficult for him to play tomorrow. Yesterday he did not train and we will see what happens in training today.

Valverde on Barca having an extra day’s rest

It can have an influence. It’s a small advantage. The way the match was originally scheduled, it was us who were supposed to have a day less. I think that, for teams at this level, it should not be a factor. Last season we played a Clasico at the Bernabeu on Wednesday and then again on Saturday.

Valverde on Karim Benzema

Benzema is a player who is having a great season and he is scoring a lot. He always has chances and it will be essential to contain him. But we have to find our way of playing, no matter who plays for them.

Valverde on VAR

It was clear that with VAR the controversy wasn’t going to end because football and controversy go together. Everybody always sees has their own point of view. With Pique, it’s true that we thought that if they checked it, it could have been a penalty. But they didn’t. I don’t have much more to say in that respect.