'Real to deny Barca guard of honour'

Jurgen Klopp

Barcelona are now just four games away from ending the La Liga season unbeaten, becoming the first side to do so in the modern era (Athletic Bilbao and Real Madrid finished unbeaten in 1929/30 and 1931/32 respectively but only played 18 games). "I am not breaking any tradition, but neither will I do something that they did not do".

Barcelona has matches left against Villarreal, Levante and Real Sociedad to try and become the first team to go unbeaten in the competition since the 1930s, when it consisted of 10 teams compared to 20 now. The suggestion is both teams could give the departing Iniesta, Barca's captain, a guard of honour, even if Real refuse to do so for Barcelona's La Liga triumph.

Another piece of drama surrounding the match is the controversy surrounding the traditional guard of honour, with Real manager Zinedine Zidane stating that his team will not be bestowing the honour on the already-crowned champions.

A Lionel Messi hat-trick in a 4-2 win over Deportivo La Coruña last weekend ensured that Barça regained their title as Spanish champions, while simultaneously relegating Clarence Seedorf's Deportivo side.

Real, third in the table, secured their place in this month's Champions League final on Tuesday and are aiming to win the trophy for the third year in a row.

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"It is true that this year LaLiga is decided and there is less expectation, but that is normal".

"The elimination in the Champions League, it hurt us because it was unexpected", said Barca coach Ernesto Valverde. Real Madrid defeated Paris Saint-Germain the Champions of Ligue 1 in a home and away affair in the Champions League second round, they also humiliated Juventus the potential Serie A victor on their home turf and they proceeded to Germany to thrash the Bundesliga Champions in the same manner.

Which stars are Barcelona most likely to sign - according to Betfair? Barca won the match 3-0. And obviously they do, too.

"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. We have many players to come in for those missing, and that is the most important thing. "If he is fit, he will play".

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