El Clasico more important for Madrid but won't settle title race - Setien

Barcelona could move five points clear of Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu, but Quique Setien is not convinced that would be enough.

Published : Feb 29, 2020 20:02 IST

Barcelona coach Quique Setien is not convinced that winning El Clasico will settle title race.
Barcelona coach Quique Setien is not convinced that winning El Clasico will settle title race.

Barcelona coach Quique Setien is not convinced that winning El Clasico will settle title race.

Quique Setien does not believe victory in Sunday's Clasico would be enough to clinch the LaLiga title for Barcelona and suggests Real Madrid's difficult run will have no impact on the match.

Barca is two points clear of its fierce rival at the top of the table heading into the clash at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Madrid is winless in three games in all competitions, losing its past two matches to Levante in the league and Manchester City in the Champions League, but Setien does not believe its title challenge will be over if his Barca side consigns it to another defeat.

"It could be a very important day," the Barcelona head coach said during a news conference on Saturday. "A win would give us a lead. I don't know if that would be enough - I'm sure it wouldn't.

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"We see very strange things happen in football, but I don't really trust form too much. In football, you put the past behind you. It's the present that you're rewarded on.

"In a Clasico, people tend to forget about the points, positions in the tables. This is a Clasico where both teams always play as hard as they can regardless of the situation they're in.

"I expect a very tightly contested game, very evenly matched. The question is who gets things right to win the game."

He added: "For Madrid, it is a vital game - probably much more important than it is for us, because of the situation in the table at the moment and the amount of time that's left.

"We could pick up a five-point lead, which would be a big step forward. It would leave them with a lot of ground to make up. I don't like the word decisive, it's certainly important."

Setien won twice at the Bernabeu while coach at Real Betis, and he expects those experiences to aid him this weekend.

Asked if previous victories were a help, he replied: "Yes, of course. We've looked back at some of the games played before - the game Barca played last year, the game Betis played last year.

"You tried to pick out things that could be useful. We certainly want to play with a daring team tomorrow - Madrid will, I'm sure, do likewise. We are a team that always plays the way we do.

"I'll do something similar to what I did with Betis and with Las Palmas, now with Barca. I like a daring team.

"Whether things work out, let's wait and see. You have to remember that Madrid are a very, very good team. You might think they are not at their best at the moment, but I'm not trusting to that kind of thing.

"You need to be ready for games like this - when we've got the ball and when we do not."

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