MADRID: Frank Rijkaard says Barcelona’s glittering form in recent matches will count for little when they meet arch-rivals Real Madrid at the Bernabeu on Saturday.
“We are playing well at the moment, but this is always a very special game and there’re a lot of tiny details that can decide a match like this,” said the Dutch coach.
“People say that we have got the better team, but everyone knows that games like this are won because of attitude.
“These are games where courage, mental approach and pride are very important,” he told the Barcelona website.
Barcelona are second in the Primera Liga with 22 points from 11 games, two behind surprise leaders Osasuna and one ahead of Real.
The Catalans have scored 18 goals and conceded just one in their last five matches in all competitions, while an injury-plagued Real have ground out two efficient but unimpressive victories in the league.
Rijkaard said that Real were under greater pressure to win the game.
“Real are only a point behind us but they will be under a lot of pressure because they will want to put in a convincing performance in front of their own fans.
“For them it will be a very important game,” added Rijkaard
Barca’s only absentee is midfielder Mark van Bommel, who damaged ankle ligaments while training with Holland last week.
Real, who won 4-2 the last time the sides met at the Bernabeu, have a lengthy list of players on the treatment table, including Ronaldo, Zinedine Zidane, Julio Baptista, Ivan Helguera, Jonathan Woodgate and Thomas Gravesen.
Real are confident that Zidane will be ready to play on Saturday while Ronaldo also looks to be making good progress with his ankle injury. – Reuters