Thursday, July 27, 2017

Barcelona are scared of Real Madrid – Sacchi

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 16 Feb 2016

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Arrigo Sacchi says Barcelona remain favourites to triumph on three fronts but are scared Real Madrid will stop them replicating last season’s treble feat.

Luis Enrique led Barca to La Liga, Copa del Rey and Champions League glory in his first campaign at the helm, and has put the team in a good position to achieve similar success this term.

The Catalan side sit three points clear at the domestic summit, have secured a place in the Copa del Rey final against Sevilla and meet Arsenal in the Champions League round of 16.

However, Sacchi – former director of football at Madrid – is convinced the Camp Nou side harbour fears of losing out in the race for silverware to their arch-rivals.

“Barca are the favourites to win everything, but they are afraid of Madrid – a lot,” the Italian told Marca. “They know they are the only team that can stop them winning titles, especially the Champions League.

“There will not be calmness with Real Madrid in the competition. They are aware that the individuals of Madrid can win the Champions League again.”

Madrid face Roma in the last 16 of the Champions League, with the first leg at Stadio Olimpico on Wednesday.

Sacchi thinks the Santiago Bernabeu side should comfortably reach the quarter-finals by beating a team Luciano Spalletti is still coaxing toward top form since replacing Rudi Garcia in January.

“No Champions League game is easy. Roma have their problems. They have changed coaches, just like Real Madrid, but they have more problems than that and the tie is Real Madrid’s to lose.

“[Spalletti is] trying to strike a balance. They are in no way at their best. They’re winning, but struggling and aren’t the finished article yet.

“They have good players, but their teamwork needs improving because they don’t play like a team.

“The coach only arrived recently and little can be done in that time. Spalletti is talented, tough, and will give it his all against Real Madrid.”

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