Barcelona: Gerardo Martino ready for El Clasico

Gerardo Martino Barcelonas manager

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Barcelona coach Gerardo Martino claims he already knows his starting XI for this Sunday’s crucial El Clasico against La Liga title rivals Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Martino watched his side stay in third place and within four points of leaders Real Madrid with a 7-0 thrashing of Osasuna at Camp Nou on Sunday.

The game also marked an historic moment for Martino’s fellow Argentinian, Lionel Messi, because his hat-trick saw him overtake Paulino Alcantara as his club’s all-time top goalscorer with 371 goals.

The victory also came on the back of Barca’s progression into the last eight of the Champions League following their 2-1 second-leg win against Manchester City so confidence appears to be peaking at just the right time to face Carlo Ancelotti’s side.

And Martino is in no doubt what side he will field in order to have the best possible chance of picking up a much-needed win.

He told Marca: “I don’t have any doubts about how to play at the Bernabeu. The performance doesn’t change the way we need to play. I’m almost decided on the starting XI to face Madrid.”

He added: “We played two good games, we played well, we were serious. Our first game was tougher at times because we played against City.

“But we can’t get carried away by today’s game. Sometimes we lose points against teams that don’t have as much money as us, but what we did do today is what we should always do: win and play well.

“Moments like these need to be reaffirmed by consistency in form. We will fight to the end.”

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