FC Barcelona will be facing Real Madrid CF this weekend in the final El Clasico of the 2020-21 LaLiga season. Manager Ronald Koeman knows how crucial the match will be, but he has assured that he has no plans of resting both Lionel Messi and Frenkie de Jong when his club faces real Valladolid on Monday night.
Questions have been raised about taking precautions because both Messi and De Yong are sitting on yellow cards. They are facing possible suspensions if they get booked while playing against Valladolid. That will leave the team handicapped against fellow title contenders Real Madrid.
However, Koeman also knows that the every match is crucial if they want to win the title. Hence, he does not want to be conservative. "We know that these two players are one card away, but it is not the time to rest players due to cards or freshness," he said during a press conference.
"We have ten games left. There is always the risk, but the best thing is to put the team out that I think can win," he added, as quoted by Marca.
Valladolid currently sits in 16th place on the La Liga table, but no team can afford to drop any more points. League Leaders Atletico Madrid did just that against Sevilla on Sunday, and they are now in danger of losing the lead they have been keeping warm for a majority of the season.
A victory against Valladolid tonight will take Barcelona just one point behind Atletico, and they will also leapfrog Real Madrid to reclaim the second position.
"You have to be prepared, you can't think that it will be an easy game just because of their injuries," he said about Valladolid.
Barcelona also had its fair share of injury issues, but Gerard Pique and Sergi Roberto are closing in on a comeback. They have returned to training and might be able to log in a few minutes to get up to speed before El Clasico.
"We are not going to take risks, nor next week, because there are more games coming this season," said Koeman.