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Quique Setien talks Barcelona injuries, Pep Guardiola meeting & Lionel Messi before El Clasico

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The latest from the Barcelona boss

FBL-ESP-LIGA-BARCELONA-PRESSER Photo by PAU BARRENA/AFP via Getty Images

Quique Setien was back in front of the press on Saturday to talk about the eagerly-anticipated La Liga clash with Real Madrid at the Bernabeu.

The Barcelona boss was asked about the fitness of Jordi Alba and Gerard Pique, Real Madrid, his meeting with Pep Guardiola and captain Lionel Messi.

Here are the best bits:

Setien on El Clasico

For Real Madrid this game is vital and much more important than it is for us. It is a key and decisive game for them, it’s also important for us but perhaps not as important. It could be a very important day, a victory would give us a lead of five points but in these games the past is quickly forgotten about. I expect a very close game, we’ll see who deserves to win it more.

Setien on how Barcelona will play

We will be a daring team, we will try to have the ball and defend when they have it. As before with Real Betis and Las Palmas, we will be a daring team, pressing and wanting the ball. Madrid must be respected. It will be competitive, there will be phases that we control and others that we will not.

Setien on Jordi Alba

He’s pretty good, and the feelings are positive. We just have to decide with him whether he is going to start or not. We will see. Of course he is confident.

Setien on meeting Guardiola after Real Madrid’s defeat to Man City

I wasn’t there to see Pep, I was there to see the game. We talked about a little of everything. What City did in the Bernabeu can help us to an extent

Setien on Messi set to overtake Xavi’s record of Clasico appearances

We would love to see him play another 43 more. It says a lot. I don’t know the statistics in terms of efficiency but he is very important for us. Hopefully, he will take advantage of a great game and can help us to win.

Setien on Gerard Pique’s fitness

He has recovered well, he will not have any problems.

Setien on Martin Braithwaite starting

We do not rule anything out. We have alternatives laid out. We will decide on some things as we go. Hopefully the decisions are valid.