Manager Xavi Hernandez has mentioned Wednesday’s Spanish Super Cup semi-final towards Real Madrid in Saudi Arabia could possibly be used to kick off Barcelona’s season.
Barca have proven indicators of enchancment since Xavi changed Ronald Koeman as coach in November, climbing to 1 level in the La Liga prime 4, however have but to search out consistency.
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They enter the Clasico on the again of a disappointing 1-1 draw towards Granada this weekend, however Xavi nonetheless hopes to beat Madrid and stage a closing towards Atletico Madrid or Athletic Bilbao in Riyadh on Sunday.
“This game is a huge opportunity to reach a final and it could be a turning point for us,” Xavi mentioned at a press convention on Tuesday.
“Madrid are the fittest crew in Spain, the standings present it, however it’s one other competitors. Clasico is at all times unpredictable.
“Reaching the closing would be an inflection level. But no matter occurs, we might be reasonable. It’s an necessary match and an enormous check, which can present us the place we’re subsequent. [two months in charge]. “
Injuries and a COVID-19 outbreak have thus far hampered Xavi’s time, however Barca are lastly beginning to get well the gamers.
Ansu Fati is about for his first look since November towards Madrid, Pedri might characteristic for the first time since September and Ferran Torres, signed for € 55million, is about to make his debut.
“It’s great news for us that they’re all available again,” mentioned Xavi. “These are the gamers who’re the key to the system and who could make the distinction in the closing third.
“As well as Ronald [Araujo] and Frenkie [de Jong], they’re coming back from various injuries and COVID-19, so we’ll be managing their minutes, but they’re improving the team without a doubt. “
Barca misplaced 2-1 to Madrid when the sides met at Camp Nou earlier in the season and are 17 factors behind the league leaders in sixth place in the desk, albeit with one sport much less .
However, midfielder Sergio Busquets mentioned all the things that counts for nothing on Wednesday.
“I don’t care if people make Madrid favorites,” Busquets mentioned at a press convention.
“When a Clasico starts up, everything else is forgotten. The gap in the league doesn’t matter. We need to be stronger, but we’re going to play the game and stay true to our style. “
Xavi added: “I’ve skilled Clasico matches the place Barcelona have been big favorites however then misplaced and vice versa.
“We’re a crew below building however we’re attempting to get it proper. Madrid are in fine condition however that does not imply something. We will attempt to be ourselves and impose ourselves in the sport. “