Barcelona midfielder Xavi insists defeat against Real Madrid in this weekend’s El Classico would not spell the end of the Catalan club’s La Liga campaign as Bet365 announce a free bets offer on any La Liga game this weekend.
Barca trail Madrid by three points in their attempt to retain the title they won last year, while Jose Mourinho’s side also have the advantage of a game in hand to further extend their gap.
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With Madrid on a 14 game unbeaten run and Barca still reeling from their shock defeat at the hands of Getafe earlier this month, Ballon D’or nominee Xavi insists Saturday’s game at the Santiago Bernabeu isn’t make or break for their season.
“If we did not win, there would still be many points,” he said to AS. “There will be no [final] verdict.”
“Madrid are doing well, with 11 straight wins in the league, and they have three more points than us,” the Spain midfielder said.
“The advantage means they are currently better, but the Clasico is not about ranking. Anything can happen.
“This is the first Clasico to arrive in three or four years in which Madrid are in better shape [than us]. They are physically strong.” He added.
Crucially for Madrid, Xabi Alonso will return to the team after serving his suspension that made him miss the 3-0 Sporting Gijon last week, while Barca will feel the benefit of being able to rest their key players in the 4-0 midweek victory over BATE Borisov although Madrid had a similar luxury in their win over Ajax.
Most observers will be hoping for a much more honest game than some of the encounters last season, especially the volatile Champions League semi final games, where sending-offs and post-match bust ups marred the action on the pitch.
Madrid go into the game as favourites given their recent run of form, although it is hard to believe that it little over a year that Mourinho’s men were on the receiving end of a 5-0 pasting from their fierce rivals that that would ever be the case.