Barcelona captain Andres Iniesta has rejected assertions that El Clasico rivals Real Madrid go into Saturday's match at the Santiago Bernabeu as wounded.
Madrid are under pressure going into the game against treble winners Barca having lost 3-2 to Sevilla in their final match before the international break and with star forward Cristiano Ronaldo short of his prolific best form.
But the match will only be both sides' 12th in La Liga this season and Iniesta feels it is too early to make any judgement about either team, regardless of the result, with his team potentially moving six points clear at the top with a positive result.
Asked if Barca would be playing against a wounded Real Madrid, Iniesta said: "People can use whatever analogies they like, but it is very early to say anything like that after 12 games.
"It is a bit early to be painting things as so good or so bad. We are three points ahead but let's not get comfortable - we have to try to win at their stadium and widen the gap between us and them.
"We know we are playing against a Real Madrid side who will be trying to draw level with us. I don't think we are talking about deepening wounds; we just have to go their play well and try to come back in an even better position.
"It is not decisive because it is so early in the season but it is very important from a morale sense."