Real focus

Discipline and focus are the key, says Hunter

Last Updated: 09/12/11 8:23am

Hunter: Mourinho has more options

Graham Hunter told Revista why he thinks Real Madrid have the edge going into El Clasico against Barcelona.

"I think Pep Guardiola took a calculated gamble. He looked at the first part of the season and he highlighted winning the World Club Challenge in Tokyo as the key thing"

Graham Hunter

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Both sides are in superb form, with Real maintaining their lead at the top of the table with an impressive 3-0 victory at Sporting Gijon, while Barcelona responded in style with an emphatic 5-0 success over Levante.

However, Hunter believes Los Blancos have the better options when it comes to players.

"Jose Mourinho has more players fit, more players in form and with higher confidence," said Hunter on Revista.

"I think Pep Guardiola took a calculated gamble. He looked at the first part of the season and he highlighted winning the World Club Challenge in Tokyo as the key thing.

"I think he thought he could get through the domestic and the Champions League challenges, arrive at the Bernabeu, probably take a draw and not be under threat of being nine points behind. Then he could go to Japan and win that World Club title.

"Mourinho concentrated on beating Barcelona all summer long; playing the ball forward quickly, training the players to play on the counter much more aggressively.

"Madrid have focused on this game, while Barcelona have concentrated slightly on Tokyo. That is why the sides arrive with Real in the ascendency and Barcelona playing catch-up."

Lords of discipline

Hunter also reckons Madrid need to make sure they reign themselves in as far as discipline is concerned.

"Since it has become Mourinho v Guardiola, we have had seven Clasicos and nine red cards," he added. "Okay, some have been off the pitch but we have also had 52 bookings.

"Although it is not an absolute if you have someone sent-off - remember the Copa Del Rey final when Madrid had a player sent off and they still won - it tends to be that the more indisciplined side loses.

"I think if Madrid reign their discipline in with the referee and in terms of their positional sense, that will help them impose their status as favourites."