Barcelona vs Real Madrid - Preview

AFP| Updated: Oct 26, 2013, 10:34 AM IST

London: Barcelona boss Gerardo Martino isn`t concerned by his side`s form ahead of his biggest game in charge of the Catalans to date against Real Madrid on Saturday.

The Spanish champions dropped their first points of the season in a 0-0 draw with Osasuna last weekend and were then also held 1-1 by AC Milan in midweek.

The draw in Pamplona allowed Madrid to close within three points of Barca at the top of the table.

However, Martino doesn`t believe their performances have dipped in the past week and hopes they will be more clinical in front of goal with Lionel Messi and Neymar set to start up front.

"We are in good shape. We didn`t win against Osasuna or Milan, but we didn`t take a step backwards," he said on Friday.

"We played as normal and we had chances to win both games. We hope to be more efficient in front of goal.

"In Pamplona we lacked speed in the final metres of the pitch. The play was slower than normal. And in both games our decision making wasn`t good."

Gerard Pique trained with his teammates on Friday evening and has been included in Martino`s 20-man squad for the game despite carrying a hamstring strain.

Martino, though, was guarded on the possibility of Carles Puyol and Cesc Fabregas coming into the side after they started the match in Milan on the bench.

"I don`t know why you make this conclusion. I decided which team would play tomorrow before the Milan game, but I won`t conjecture over who will start."

Jordi Alba is the only senior player unavailable to Martino as he remains sidelined by a thigh injury so Adriano will continue at left-back.

Pedro Rodriguez could also force his way into the front three alongside Messi and Neymar at the expense of Alexis Sanchez as he too only featured as a late substitute in Milan.