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Casillas wary of Barcelona backlash in El Classico

Real Madrid captain Iker Casillas is expecting a backlash from Barcelona when the two meet again in the league on Saturday after Madrid’s 3-1 victory over the Catalans on Tuesday.

The Spanish champions booked their place in the Spanish Cup final with a complete performance that restricted Barca to very little going forward and contained their usual lightning speed on the counter-attack.

But Casillas believes he knows many of his international colleagues in the Barca side too well to think they will take defeat lying down.

‘I know many of the Barcelona players and I know that they are competitive,’ he told the club’s website.

Despite their joy in the cup, in the league it is Barca who have been the dominant force this season as they arrive in the capital with a 16-point advantage over Real.

And with another huge Champions League game to come against Manchester United on Tuesday, many expect Jose Mourinho to make a number of changes.

However, Casillas believes it is important to try and maintain their positive momentum heading into their trip to Old Trafford with the teams locked 1-1 after the first leg of their last-16 duel.

‘We need to be aware that when we don’t win in the league the fans suffer. We have the duty to fight for every game and the next one is Barcelona.

‘What we want to do is win and continue to cut the gap at the top. It is a deficit that perhaps doesn’t reflect the real difference between the teams, but it is a competition where consistency is rewarded and Barcelona have been better than us. ‘It is a considerable lead, but with the crowd behind us we want to end a week that could be the turning point.’

Barca midfielder Andres Iniesta accepts they have some issue to address. “The team is coming from some very good years and we deserve to be treated calmly when we lose to a great team like Real Madrid.
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