Barcelona are in desperate need of a boost ahead the match against Real Madrid and in Jules Kounde, it appears they might have one.
It had looked unlikely that their star defender would make the match after a muscle injury suffered on international duty with France ruled him out for a number of weeks. However on Thursday Kounde returned to training and all signs point to the fact he will begin the match at the Santiago Bernabeu.
“It is always very important because whichever team wins comes out reinforced and the one that loses, affected. If we continue in first place we will come out of it significantly strengthened. We have a better system of play, recognising that Madrid always keep going and fight until the end. We hope that [the team] imposes themselves and that it is like last season, which was very good.”
He also let slip that Kounde would indeed be fit for the match.
“It will serve to show the capacity of the team to react. We will recover Kounde. I hope these players that are defending the Barcelona shirt have that spirit. It is a great opportunity.”
It is expected that Kounde will once again return to the right side of defence. In previous Clasicos Xavi has shown a tendency to use Ronald Araujo on the right side in order to help shutdown Vinicius Junior and in the absence of the Uruguayan, Kounde may well be the entrusted party.