losangelesnewstoday.com May 20, 2018

Barça give homegrown players more game-time than Madrid

07 May 2018, 12:37 | Nina Hammond

Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo's close rivalry has them on five Ballons d'Or apiece but the Barcelona man has dominated this

Barcelona v Real Madrid Messi's dominant 2017-18 La Liga numbers leave Ronaldo trailing

"We've seen this year that teams like Valencia, Atletico Madrid, Sevilla, Real Betis, Villarreal are all getting closer to the European competitions and they're making it more hard for Barcelona and Real Madrid than two or three years ago".

"I'm not the one to decide", Zidane said.

Barcelona have already sealed the league title.

But there will be no guard of honour on Sunday evening, with Zidane irked that the Catalan club did not see his side out onto the pitch after their Club World Cup triumph in December.

"They said they weren't in the competition, but that's a lie, because you get into the Club World Cup through the Champions League".

This was a reference to Barcelona not offering the same courtesy to Los Blancos after they won the FIFA Club World Cup. We respect what Barca have done, to win La Liga is the most hard, I have always said that. "It is a game with three points on the line, where the table will not change, but for us it is a game we have to play well and do everything possible to win. I think that we are worthy winners because of how we've handled the entire year, and the numbers show that we haven't lost a game yet". Barcelona is just four matches away from achieving the feat and earning "The Invincibles" tag. Zinedine Zidane's men will also be keen on exacting revenge for the 3-0 loss at the Bernabeu earlier in the season.

Justify looks to prove talent trumps curses in Kentucky Derby
However, one can not ignore his dominating performance at the UAE Derby in Dubai, winning by 18.5 lengths in course record time. At the Santa Anita Derby, Justify was challenged by Bolt D'Oro, but when Justify turned it on he won by three lengths.

"The elimination in the Champions League, it hurt us because it was unexpected", said Barca coach Ernesto Valverde. "Fortunately, we are already champions, but it means a lot for the two fan-bases, for the competitiveness of the two. But as for the rest, they'll play as always".

"They'll come with the idea of ending our unbeaten streak and hopefully it'll be a good game".

"I would like all Clasicos to be this way".

Real may, however, choose to pay tribute to midfielder Andres Iniesta, who will be playing his last Clasico before he leaves Barcelona at the end of the season.

"As much as it's being talked about, it's not particularly important", Valverde said, as reported by Football Espana. "If he is fit, he will play".

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