Madrid: With just over 24 hours left for the 'El Clasico' clash between Real Madrid and FC Barcelona at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium here, Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti has fired the first gun in the war of words.
Ancelotti said he would never manage Barcelona "out of respect" for his current club, something which can be taken as a shot at Barcelona boss Luis Enrique, who was a Real Madrid player before joining Barcelona, reports Xinhua.
The Italian also gave some clues about the side he is likely to pick for Saturday's game, saying Sergio Ramos had recovered from the back problem which had sidelined him for the past two weeks and Dani Carvajal would step in for Alvaro Arbeloa at right back.
Gareth Bale is a major doubt for the game with a muscle injury and his place has been effectively covered by Isco in recent matches. However, Ancelotti said Bale would play if fit.
"The problem is that only 11 can play. Isco understands that perfectly. If Bale is fit he is always going to play," he said.
The Italian also looked at Barcelona, who have yet to concede a league goal this campaign, although he believes the attack, which consists of Lionel Messi, Neymar and which could see Luis Suarez make his debut at the Bernabeu, is still his rival's decisive weapon.
"They are more vertical in their play, they still like to have the ball but they are more vertical in their play. We are facing a team with more attacking quality than defensive quality," said the manager.
"That is where the balance of the game is going to be, to see who can command the game playing on the attack. It is going to be spectacular and there is no other game with so much quality in the world."