Ernesto Valverde ready for El Clasico clash

Ernesto Valverde Barcelona

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Barcelona manager Ernesto Valverde says his team are ready for next week’s El Clasico clash with Real Madrid but he admits Paco Alcacer’s injury is a setback.

Valverde’s men will go into Saturday’s game with a six-point cushion at the top of the La Liga table after they beat Deportivo La Coruna 4-0 on Sunday night. Two goals each from Luis Suarez and Paulinho ensured Barca cruised to victory but the three points came at a price as Alcacer limped off during the first-half. The former Valencia man is now set to miss three weeks of action and Valverde admits it is disappointing ahead of the trip to the Santiago Bernabeu.

Madrid are 11 points behind their rivals with a game in hand and Valverde is looking forward to the occasion. He told Movistar: “It’s a setback that we didn’t expect. Overall the game turned out well but’s a real shame about Paco. “But we’re going into [El Clasico] happy. We have a week to prepare for the game and the best way to approach the Madrid match was to put in the kind of performance we had today, secure three points and boost confidence and morale.

“We are in good shape but we know that we are in for a complicated game against a huge rival. We’ll prepare for it well because we are determined to put in a good performance.”

Madrid are 2.15 favourites to win, with the draw 3.80, while Barcelona can be backed at odds of 3.20.

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