The Blaugrana boss does not think Sunday’s clash at Camp Nou will decide the fate of the Liga title this season, while he is also hoping to welcome back Sergio Busquets
Barcelona coach Luis Enrique has dismissed the suggestion that his side are favourites for this weekend’s clash with Real Madrid.
The Catalans head into the Sunday’s game at Camp Nou on a run of nine wins from their last 10 Liga outings, while Madrid have won just one of their last four games in all competitions – sparking speculation that coach Carlo Ancelotti is facing the axe just months after leading the club to their long-awaited 10th European crown.
But for Luis Enrique, who represented both clubs in his playing days, a Barca victory is by no means a forgone conclusion.
“Generally, we have to think that in this type of game there aren’t favourites,” he told a press conference on Saturday.
“There is a lot at stake and the two teams have players that are out of this world.
“Playing at home is important, though, because it can help in terms of motivation and intensity.”
Barca sit one point clear of Madrid at the top of the table, but have already stumbled to two Liga home defeats this season – another would see them lose three at Camp Nou for the first time since 2007-08 campaign.
But regardless, the Barca boss does not believe Sunday’s result will decide this season’s title race.
“Independent of the result I don’t think it will be decisive,” he said.
“There are still 10 games to go and there are too many difficult games for both teams, so it is not decisive but important.”
Barca received a boost this week when Sergio Busquets returned to training after missing three weeks out with an ankle injury, and Luis Enrique admitted the Spain international is in contention to start.
“Busquets could be an option,” he added. “He isn’t 100 percent, which is normal.
“He has trained the past three days. He isn’t in perfect condition, but he is available which is important for us.”
Real Madrid have prevailed in their last two matches against Barca, but have not won three consecutive Clasicos since 1978.