Luis Enrique admits Sunday’s Clasico is win or bust for Barcelona but insists Real Madrid are the “perfect” team for his side to bounce back against.
Barca were eliminated from the Champions League midweek and must respond at Madrid, who will move at least six points clear of the Blaugrana with a victory, but Enrique felt the trip to the Santiago Bernabeu came at the right time as he urged his players to “show their full potential”.
“Our objective is to be true to our way of playing and be very effective so that we don’t see the qualities of our opponents, of which there are many,” the Coach said at a Press conference.
“Neymar’s ban appeal? It seems very logical that the club are defending their interests and I’m prepared, with or without Neymar.
“There’s no better stage for a Cule than the Bernabeu. We can match them on points.
“It’s a Clasico that will sentence the League [to Madrid] or put it close to us. We want nothing but the victory, but it’s true that due to it being so near the end of the season, it’ll be decisive.
“Convinced Barca will play at their best? Yes and it must be so. It’s a perfect stimulus and I think it’s a good thing that our opponents after our elimination from the Champions League are Madrid.
“BBC or Isco? I won’t make my preferences public, other than I hope that we always face the best versions of our opponents.
“Madrid’s aerial game is one of their qualities and we have to counter that.
“I haven’t done any more work than what I usually do, but my players think the same as me, that there’s no better opponent to face [than Madrid].
“Time for Messi to shine? I think it’s time for FC Barcelona to show their full potential. We shouldn’t focus on just Messi or anyone else.”
Barca squad for Madrid: Ter Stegen, Cillessen; Pique, Mascherano, Alba, Digne, Sergi Roberto, Vidal, Umtiti; Busquets, Rakitic, Arda, Iniesta, Denis, Gomes, Alena; Suarez, Messi, Alcacer