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Opponent watch: Barcelona midfielder set to miss Sunday’s El Clasico vs Real Madrid



Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images

Barcelona midfielder Pedri will not be involved in Sunday’s El Clasico against Real Madrid, reports Javi Miguel of AS.

The Spanish international had been out injured since mid-February when he hurt his thigh during the UEFA Europa League contest against Manchester United.

Having missed six matches in all competitions, including the first leg of the Copa del Rey semi-finals against Real Madrid, Pedri was expected to be fit and available for Sunday’s Clasico at Spotify Camp Nou.

The 20-year-old had resumed training with the rest of the group earlier this week and all signs pointed towards him being ready for the weekend encounter.

However, that does not seem to be the case any longer as Pedri reportedly did not feel good in training earlier today. And it has led to him now being ruled out of the contest against Real Madrid on Sunday.

This comes as a blow for Barcelona, who will also be without Ousmane Dembele when Carlo Ancelotti’s men visit Camp Nou in a couple of days.

Their absence certainly comes as a big boost for Real Madrid, who will be looking to cut down the gap to the top of the table to six points with a victory against Xavi’s men.

However, Los Blancos themselves have a few injury concerns to deal with as David Alaba is almost certain to miss out of the trip to Catalonia.

Meanwhile, Karim Benzema, who hobbled off the pitch against Liverpool earlier this week, did not train with the team today, although he is expected to make himself available for the Clasico.

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Real Madrid News

Ancelotti talks Mendy, Vinicius, Gavi, Tobias, Brazil job ahead of Real Madrid vs Valladolid



Photo by PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU/AFP via Getty Images

Real Madrid will be gunning to bounce back to winning ways when they lock horns with Real Valladolid at the Santiago Bernabeu on Sunday afternoon.

Los Blancos were on the receiving end of a 2-1 defeat at the hands of arch-rivals Barcelona the last time they were in action. The result meant that Carlo Ancelotti’s side have now fallen 12 points behind the Catalans in the La Liga title race.

The gap could widen to 15 points given that Barcelona are playing bottom-placed Elche later tonight. So, it becomes imperative for Real Madrid to make sure that there are no more slip-ups if they are to have any hope of pulling off a comeback in the title race.

Ahead of the game at the Bernabeu on Sunday, manager Ancelotti addressed the media, and discussed Ferland Mendy’s fitness situation as well his future amid links to the Brazil national team, among various other things.

On the state of the squad: “We are fine. The internationals are in good shape. We were unlucky to have Mendy injured but we are ready.”

On the speculations about his future and links to replacements: “I’m not surprised that there are these rumours. It doesn’t affect me, it doesn’t worry me. I’m just focused on fulfilling my duties with this club and with this team.

“I’m still here until Real Madrid allow me to stay here. I’m very well and I feel the affection of the president, the fans and the players. We have two months ahead of us and then hopefully we can continue.”

On others’ opinions on the job he is doing: “Everyone can say what they want. I know I have a contract and I want to fulfil it. I don’t know what might happen in the future.”

On the Brazil national team rumours: “The reality is that the Brazilian national team wants me and I love it and I’m very excited about it, but then I have to respect the contract I have and I want to fulfil it.”

On whether he will retire after the Real Madrid job: “No. I’m not thinking about it now.”

On the contract renewals: “The atmosphere at the moment is very calm and very focused on what we have to do. What is being talked about in the press is an outside issue. We hear it but it’s not an issue that worries us. The players know very well what they have to do.”

On whether Vinicius would be treated differently if he played for another club: “If my grandfather had wheels, he would be a cart. There have been problems with Vinicius, Gavi, we must respect the players.”

On Vinicius Tobias: “He is progressing very well and like the rest of the Castilla players we will have to talk about his future when the season is over.”

On injuries: “We have the same problems as in other teams. Mendy has not had a good season. We will replace him well as we did when he was out.”

On Brazil Federation president Ednaldo Rodrigues: “If he wants to talk to me I would love to meet and greet him.”

On Barcelona getting an extra day’s rest ahead of Copa semi-final: “I’m not surprised, it doesn’t bother me. They have an extra day but we have time to recover and there is no problem.”

Source: Real Madrid Twitter

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