MADRID -- Real Madrid can't be scared of Barcelona when they meet in the first "clasico” of the season, Ronald Koeman stated Saturday.
The coach at Barcelona said, "We must play without fear." "We must show that we are capable of winning and that we will be motivated from the beginning."
It will also mark the first clasico since Lionel Messi left Barcelona, which has struggled on and off the pitch since then.
Barcelona started off with a difficult start, but it managed to win two consecutive victories this season. This was before Sunday's clasico at Camp Nou Stadium.
It defeated Valencia in Spain last weekend, and Dynamo Kyiv Wednesday. This was a vital victory that preserved its chances of not being eliminated from the Champions League group stage for the second time in 20 years.
The match against Madrid concludes a three-game home run that Koeman deemed crucial for the club's season.
He said that "we have good momentum following these two victories" and "we are very motivated to prove that we can win the important match in front our fans." We expect the stadium to be full and there will be a great atmosphere.
Jordi Alba was a defender who, despite being doubtful due to an ankle injury, made it into the team for the clasico. Koeman will likely rely on him.
Barcelona is currently in seventh place in Spanish league standings. Madrid is in third. Madrid is two points behind Barcelona. Madrid just won a crucial 5-0 victory against Shakhtar Donetsk at the Champions League after consecutive defeats to Sheriff at home in Europe and Espanyol.
Carlo Ancelotti, Madrid coach, said that it is okay to be nervous ahead of these matches.
He said that fear is something that happens. It can be thought about before a game, before a training session, or afterward. It's something that's almost always there and it's great. I am not afraid, however. Because I believe there are worse things than losing a football game, I have never been scared before a match.
Ancelotti, despite recent injuries, has included Dani Carvajal and Eden Hazard in Sunday's squad.
Atletico Madrid is three points behind Leader Real Sociedad. Atletico is also three points behind the leader.