Roura expects same Madrid

Jordi Roura has reflected that he does not expect Real Madrid to be overly affected by their absences in facing Barcelona on Wednesday.

Madrid host La Blaugrana this midweek in the first leg of their Copa del Rey semi-final and are without a number of first-team players through injury and suspension.

Barca assistant Coach Roura, though, does not see this as influential to the game at hand.

“We will try to win the game, impose our game and our system and get a positive result for the return leg,” began Roura to reporters today.

“Madrid, with the options that they have in their squad, I do not believe will be conditioned by the absences they have.

“I expect an intense Madrid, complicated, difficult. They will be no different to the Madrid of always, a highly competitive team.

“Can we decide the tie there? What else would we want? I would like for it to be resolved in our favour, but experience tells me that when there is a tie between two teams as large as this, they are not resolved.

“A good result would be to win the match, but afterwards you have to see how the game developed and how it went. For us it would be great to win. Whatever the result, we'll have to wait for the return leg, almost certainly.”

Roura was asked if he and the coaching staff at Barca had made any particular plans to counter Madrid’s likely makeshift starting line-up.

“They have a very high level. I do not expect any difference compared with any other team they could put out.

“We have not prepared anything special because their offensive system will not change much. We have not been especially affected during the first half of the season when we had many problems too.

“Despite the absences, Madrid are a great team. Undoubtedly these are evenly matched games that can be decided in the details.

“There are many details that we and Madrid have mastered over each other. These games are decided by small details.

“What Madrid do we expect? Madrid is always going to play football. Each to his style, each with its own characteristics.

“Madrid have their style and Barca too, and it will be a great game. I do not expect a defensive Madrid. Anything else is misplaced.”

Roura is overseeing management of the team during Tito Vilanova’s absence for treatment as part of his illness.

“I'm here in charge because my Coach and my friend is in a tough spot and all of us together are trying to get him through this. If we win, excellent. If not, we keep working.

“Will this affect the League at all? We've a good lead in the League, our players have been outstanding but our goal is to get through this tie.

“The two competitions are distinct. We'll approach this game with the same desire we have for the other competitions.”

The assistant Coach refused to confirm if Jose Manuel Pinto would replace Victor Valdes in goal for the game, before being asked for comment on who he believed would wear the gloves at the opposite end of the pitch.

“In either case, whoever they play, the Coach will do what he believes is best for his team. We will not face Casillas, who is an international goalkeeper and has been at Madrid for so long…

“If Adan is at the club then it is because he has enough quality. And Diego Lopez has a long track record in La Primera. They have ample cover for their goal, as we do with ours.”

Cristiano Ronaldo has scored a number of goals in recent Clasicos.

“I think we can expect a player of the level of Cristiano to score goals, and to keep scoring more. He's one of those players where we all know what they are capable of, but it's so hard to stop them.

“That's why they are so good. There is no magic formula to stop Cristiano Ronaldo – there is no magic wand to put the brakes on him. That is why players like him are so brilliant.”

Tags Clasico Roura