Barcelona manager Ronald Koeman insists there is no issue with Antoine Griezmann ahead of clasico

While Catalans' manager denies rift stories with French striker, Zinedine claims he still has full support at Real despite woeful week

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Barcelona manager Ronald Koeman insisted the club does not have a problem with Antoine Griezmann ahead of Saturday's clasico showdown with Real Madrid.

Griezmann joined Barca from Atletico Madrid for €120 million ($142m) in the summer of 2019, however he has yet to find his feet at Camp Nou and has not scored for the club so far this season.

He was omitted from the starting line-up for Barca's 5-1 hammering of Ferencvaros in the Champions League on Wednesday, however Koeman said that too much is being made of the situation.

"He's [Griezmann] got a chance of starting, just like any other player. It's not good to discuss this every game," the Dutchman told a news conference.

"He's an important player, but we want all our players to be at their best. The team is the most important thing and we'll pick the best players for the game tomorrow."

Koeman also backed defender Gerard Pique after he criticised the club's board in an interview with a Spanish newspaper on Friday.

"He's been here a long time and I've been here three months. He's got his opinion and I respect that," Koeman said.

"He's a clever guy and he knows when he does these interviews that he's got a game the next day and that he'll play well."

Koeman will welcome back Jordi Alba for the visit of Real, but will still be without first-choice goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen and defender Samuel Umtiti.

The 57-year-old Koeman played in 14 clasicos while at Barca, but admitted it was a new feeling going into it as manager.

"Hopefully I'll sleep alright! Of course it's different, the best thing would be going out there on the pitch, but my playing days are behind me," he said.

"So the next best thing is to be as close to the pitch as possible. We know it's an important match but I'm used to that kind of pressure."

Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane confirmed that captain Sergio Ramos is set to return from injury.

Ramos went off at half-time in Madrid's 1-0 La Liga defeat by minnows Cadiz last weekend and was also absent as they crumbled to a depleted Shakhtar Donetsk side on Wednesday in the Champions League. However, he took a full part in training on Friday.


Gallery: Shakhtar shock Real Madrid


"He's our captain, our leader. He's over his injury, but obviously we won't take any risks. He'll be with us, you need players who are 100 per cent fit and Sergio is," Zidane said.

Despite welcoming back Ramos, Real will be without a number of first team regulars for the trip to the Nou Camp, including Eden Hazard, Dani Carvajal, Alvaro Odriozola and Martin Odegaard.

Zidane has come under intense scrutiny over the last week, with some reports suggesting his job might be at risk should they taste defeat in Catalonia, however the Frenchman insisted he has the full backing of his players and the club's board.

"I've won a lot with these players, they've won a lot for me and I'll always be with them until the end, it's they who battle, run and fight and I can feel their support," he said.

"But right now the most important thing is changing the dynamic, and we've got good games coming up to be able to do that in, and that's what makes football so great. When things go wrong, you need to show your character and quality.

"I can't deny people are saying my future is at stake, but it was the same last year and it was like that in my first spell here, too. I just need to do my job and forget about everything else."