Barcelona are looking a lot less solid than they did just two weeks ago, following a series of injuries and two straight defeats. The prospect of going to the Santiago Bernabeu looks remarkably tricky as a result. Ahead of the match, Xavi Hernandez / on their rivals, reiterating on several occasions that they are favourites.
According to Relevo, Xavi and his coaching staff are well aware that his side are not playing well, and has tailored his message accordingly. He has told his side that they will have to know how to suffer, and compete as a group more than ever before.
The Blaugrana will face Real Madrid with the knife between their teeth, and accept that it might be more ‘Getafe than Manchester City‘ for Barcelona, despite Xavi’s claims that the ‘how’ matters more at the club.
Time will tell if the motivational tool works, but it is true that domestically Barcelona have been far more gritty than scintillating this season. Equally, many of their players are not used to playing in sides that defend for long periods of time, meaning they may not be as adept at doing so.
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