Martino to keep the Barca way

Barcelona coach Gerardo Martino insists he will not suppress his side's attacking instincts in Saturday's Sky Live Clasico showdown against Real Madrid.

Last Updated: 26/10/13 at 17:11 Post Comment

Gerardo Martino: Doesn't see an El Clasico favourite

Gerardo Martino: Doesn't see an El Clasico favourite

Barca go into the match looking to get back to winning ways after seeing their 100% start to the Primera Division season ended by last weekend's goalless draw against Osasuna, but will face a Madrid side who would like nothing more than to inflict a first defeat of the campaign on their bitter rivals.

And in Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale and Angel Di Maria, Martino knows Carlo Ancelotti's men have the quality and speed in attack to cause Barca some serious damage if they are given the chance.

But far from looking to nullify Madrid's forwards by going on the defensive, Martino is determined to remain faithful to Barca's footballing philosophy.

He told reporters: "When a team has space and forwards like Ronaldo, Bale and Di Maria, you can leave yourself exposed, but we are Barca and we have to keep playing our game and taking risks, as always.

"We need to avoid losing the ball in the dangerous places and being hit on the counter by Madrid."

Having taken charge of Barca during the summer, this will be the first taste of arguably the biggest club match in the world for Martino - just like Madrid counterpart Ancelotti - but the former Paraguay coach is not daunted by the prospect.

"There are big Clasicos all over the world, but it's difficult to find one that generates so many expectations. I'm really looking forward to it and I want the same as all Barcelona fans, to play well and to win," Martino said.

The Argentinian also played down suggestions his side were favourites for the match.

Prior to this week, which saw Barca follow up their draw in Osasuna with a 1-1 Champions League tie against AC Milan in midweek, the Catalan giants had won nine of their Primera Division matches and also been victorious in their opening two matches in the Champions League.

That stunning start to the season is in contrast to Madrid, who have struggled to hit top gear under new boss Ancelotti, although they head to the Nou Camp only trailing leaders Barca by three points.

Martino said: "I don't think that in Clasicos there is a favourite. Both teams play their hands. The only thing that interests me is that Barca play a good game of football."

Watch Barcelona take on Real Madrid live on Sky Sports 2 from 5pm on Saturday

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e'll be fine, no problem. If they do get relegated, he's definitely going to ask how anyone could ever have thought that Villa were going to be fine given their problems before he came.

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toke though. Hmn. I don't think it was defending that made people dislike Stoke so much as the out and out cheating/nastiness they regularly displayed. That, and they kept buying the odd flair player and then ruining them (Oh! Tuncay, what were you thinking?).

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