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Barcelona Boss Pep Guardiola: Real Madrid Stronger Than Last Season

Nou Camp manager speaks up Bernabeu side ahead of El Clasico.

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Barcelona manager Pep Guardiola says Real Madrid are stronger than last season ahead of Saturday’s first league El Clasico of the season.

While Guardiola gave his views, Madrid coach Jose Mourinho opted to send his assistant to speak to the media.

Real have won 12 of their first 14 league games and lead the Catalans by three points with a game in hand.

Guardiola said: “We have more at stake, and whoever is behind in the standings always feels a little more pressure.”

Since Guardiola took charge, Barcelona have dominated Madrid with seven wins and three draws against only one loss across all competitions.

But the Barca coach feels Saturday’s match at the Bernabeu could be their biggest test yet.

“They are stronger than they were last year,” he said. “They know each other better, they have spent more time together and know what their coach demands of them.

“Above all we have to defend well, be quick with the transitions and pay attention to factors like the circulation of the ball. It will not be easy because they have a very intense game.”

SOURCE: BBC Sport

Indeed Pep Guardiola is correct in his thinking that Real Madrid are stronger, and more consistent, than last season but perhaps more worryingly for the Barcelona boss, his own side have arguably dipped since the triumphs of last season. The Nou Camp side are particularly suspect away from home, managing just two wins in six matches.

Tonight’s match is one that the Catalan side can’t afford to lose as doing so would open up a six point gap to the Madristas having played a game more.

The game is sure to be a tightly fought, and feisty affair, and in many ways those are the types of games that Jose Mourinho’s revels in and Guardiola would do well to tell his players to keep things calm and sturdy for the opening 30 minutes.

Barcelona have only managed eight goals away from the Nou Camp in six La Liga matches whereas Real Madrid has musted an incredible 28 goals in six home matches, that’s over 4 per game.

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