?Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi has opened up on why he believes it is harder for his side to play against rivals Real Madrid at Camp Nou.
The two sides were supposed to go head to head on October 26, but following a number of protests relating to Catalan independence, the game was eventually rescheduled for December 18.
?La Blaugrana ran out 5-1 winners the last time these two sides faced off against each other at Camp Nou in La Liga. However, prior to that, they had failed to beat Madrid in three previous attempts at home in the league. In comparison, they have won their last four away league clashes against their rivals.
Ahead of Wednesday’s crunch clash with Los Blancos, ?Messi has now opened up on why it is more difficult to play against ?Real at home, rather than at the Santiago Bernabéu.
Speaking to ?Marca, the Argentine revealed: “When we play at the Bernabéu, many more spaces are generated. They attack us more because they have the obligation as the host team and people push them for that.
“At the Camp Nou they play another type of match, sitting a little further back, they are closer together and hit on the counter-attack because they have very fast players up front. At the Bernabéu we play 90 minutes equally. Here the game becomes more locked and is more complicated.”
The 32-year-old went on to to discuss Real manager Zinedine Zidane and the criticism he received at the start of the season, adding: “It’s surprising, but those of us who have been in [football] for a long time, and even more in big clubs, know that this is normal. People forget very quickly what happened and was achieved in the past and demand you [deliver] day-by-day.”
Barça and Real are level on points coming into the clash, having both managed to pick up 35 points after 16 games of the season. As a result, both teams will be keen to pick up a valuable three points.