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Solari: “We hope to put in a big performance and win El Clasico”

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FC Barcelona v Real Madrid CF - La Liga Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images

Real Madrid coach Santiago Solari talked to the press ahead of Wednesday’s El Clasico in the first leg of the Copa del Rey Semifinals. This will be Solari’s first El Clasico as a coach.

“You never know if there’ll be tactical surprises, it’s not all down to what just one team does. We’re expecting a very nice match, it’s a Clásico and we hope that everyone will enjoy it. We hope to put in a big performance and win,” said the coach. “A Clásico is a match between two teams with great sporting rivalry. For example River-Boca, Inter-AC Milan, San Lorenzo-Hucarán, Peñarol-Nacional. And of course, Real Madrid-Barcelona and Real Madrid-Atlético,” he added when asked about what this match means for football fans around the globe.

Real Madrid have a healthy squad for the first time in a while, so Solari will have to make some decisions with his starting XI.

“Vallejo is almost there, we’re very happy because we’re almost all there. When they’re all available, it’s more difficult to pick the match-day squad and that’s the hardest part for a coach. The important thing is that everyone puts their talents, ability and effort at the service of the team,” explained Solari.

Much has been said about Real’s schedule. Los Blancos faced Alaves on Sunday and therefore Barcelona have one more day of rest ahead of this match. Furthermore, Madrid also play against Atletico early Saturday.

“It’s strange that the fixtures are like this. Hopefully it’s not deliberate. Those are issues for those who set the fixtures, and that’s La Liga. We must perform to our best and that’s it,” concluded Solari.