Barcelona Await Stumbling Real Madrid at Camp Nou on Sunday

Barcelona cruise past Inter without Messi

Rafinha, who filled in for Messi in the starting 11, and Jordi Alba provided the goals that gave the Spanish team control of their Champions League group with nine points after a third win in as many matches.

An unconvincing 2-1 win over Viktoria Plzen this week did little to change the mood that Lopetegui is in serious danger of losing his job.

Real Madrid's defender Sergio Ramos (C) heads a ball to score the equalizer past Real Madrid's French defender Raphael Varane (3rdL) and Barcelona's Argentinian defender Javier Mascherano (R) during the Spanish league football match FC Barcelona vs Real Madrid CF at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona on December 3, 2016.

"I think the difference was in the first half, where we didn't play up to Inter standards. Our situation is not irreversible, we are in October".

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Reacting about his future at the Champions League winners on Wednesday night, Lopetegui said: "This question is not for me".

"We are going to focus, thinking about ourselves".

Real have not lost in their previous four visits to Barcelona, under the previous rule of Zinedine Zidane.

Messi may also be involved in the Barcelona dressing room before and after the Clasico.

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That will make this Clasico the first to be played without either star since 2007.

Two more Madrid defeats followed to leave Lopetegui on the brink while Barca are now 10 points from 12 and top of the table.

For the first time in nearly 10 years neither Ronaldo nor Mess will play the biggest game of the season in Spain: "Madrid had a good start to the season, now they are going a bit down but they will remain on top for the whole season", Guardiola said.

Much of the focus is on team tactics with Real Madrid's injury crisis coming to an end as Marcelo and Isco look set to be included in the squad along with Vinicius' potential inclusion after his suspension was overturned for his red card while playing with Real Madrid Castilla. They played well earlier in the season, even if they're on a bad run now in terms of results.

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