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Enrique: Suarez to Make Barca Clasico Debut

  • ESPN FC, Friday, October 24, 2014 1:14 PM

Barcelona coach Luis Enrique on Friday confirmed that Luis Suarez will play in Saturday’s Clasico vs. Real Madrid, although according to reports, he will most likely start from the bench. The Barca striker, whose four-month ban from club soccer for biting Giorgio Chiellini at the World Cup expires on Friday, will finally make his debut at the Bernabeu on Saturday following his 80 million-euro ($101.4 million) move from Liverpool over the summer. "[Suarez] will have some minutes for sure, how many I cannot say," Enrique said during Friday’s pre-game press conference. "It is a big thing for him, to join up finally with the team, and get some minutes."

Aside from Suarez, goalkeeper Claudio Bravo, midfielder Ivan Rakitic and center-back Jeremy Mathieu could all make their Clasico debuts. Enrique noted that he’s seen a difference in how his players have prepared for this game, vs. other La Liga contests. "These games are very different for what is in play, for what it means to the players," he said. "You see that in the training the week before. [But] most these players have played big internationals and important games with their clubs before. The only thing the players are interested in is getting the three points at the Bernabeu."

Enrique, a former Real and Barca player, noted that the early Saturday kickoff could be an advantage for his team, as Barca will have had 24 hours more rest than Real following this week’s UEFA Champions League games. "[The concerns] are correct, without any doubt," he said. "I would prefer a more uniform calendar that is fairer to everyone. I would also prefer to play later, but it is controlled by TV, which we cannot do anything about."

 

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