Michael Essien tips Real Madrid to win this weekend's El Clasico

Gennaro Gattuso Inter Milan Serie A

Though Barcelona are without Messi, who is out for three weeks after fracturing his arm against Sevilla last weekend , the hosts are big favourites to claim their third win on the spin. "It's such a big game, and the whole world wants to watch it".

"Being a unit is what helped us win the league last season".

"We have to take advantage of it and see where that takes us". These are part and parcel of El Clasico which always has drama as its central characteristic.

Radja Nainggolan has missed out on a place in Inter's squad for the Champions League fixture against Barcelona due to injury.

Sunday's Clásico will be Courtois' 13 game against Barça, the team that has tormented him most during his career.

Defeat at the Camp Nou and Real would be seven points behind their great rivals at the top of the table. Things looked grim for the Los Blancos after the sending off of Sergio Ramos, but they did well to turn the result on its head.

Perhaps most alarming for Madrid, however, is that Ronaldo accounted for 38 per cent of the goals they scored against Barcelona during his time at the club.

At the moment Cesc Fabregas is yet to play in the EPL for Chelsea owing to the fact that new manager, Maurizio Sarri prefers to start Jorginho, Matto Kovacic and N'golo Kante at the midfield. The team has created chances but the scoring boost has been absent.

Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde has said the absence of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo in a Clasico for the first time in 11 years takes none of the gloss away from Sunday's match. Madrid are in need of a win to move forwards.

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The only Barca players with reason to be anxious as forward Ousmane Dembele and Malcome, who took no part in the game despite Messi's absence and can expect more of the same at the weekend. The victor by Messi was his 500th goal for Barcelona and what a stage to claim the prize.

"Guti could be ready to be the Real Madrid coach".

They included excellent stops to deny Luis Suarez and Clement Lenglet, while Philippe Coutinho hit the Inter crossbar midway through the second half. The win also handed over the initiative to Barcelona in the league who could have had more from the game.

Where are Madrid's goals without Ronaldo? The game will also be remembered for Dani Carvajal's sending off who handled the ball on the line and gave away a penalty which Messi dispatched easily.

It may be the death knell for Madrid coach Lopetegui, it could confirm Barcelona's early season form as just a wobble and show the champions are a good bet to defend their title.

"And some others will come and then leave".

Inter's halftime substitute Matteo Politano anxious Marc-Andre ter Stegen twice shortly after coming on, first with a cross that the Barcelona goalkeeper had to parry and then with a shot that went high.

They have failed to keep a clean sheet in six games across all competitions and what was a rock-solid defence last season is being regularly cut open by opposition attackers like hot knives through butter.

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