Leeds: Barcelona's Lionel Messi is expecting a 'very strong' Real Madrid as both the teams are going to face each other in La Liga.
"I expect a very strong Real Madrid. They have shown it in the last matches, in La Liga and in the Champions League," Goal.com quoted Messi as saying.
"Barca v Madrid and Madrid v Barca are always special matches. It doesn't matter how the teams arrive, although it's true that we both go into it at a good time," he added.
Barcelona will compete against Real Sociedad on December 14 before taking on Real Madrid on December 19.
Messi also emphasised that La Liga is becoming competitive and any team can beat anyone.
"Everything is becoming more and more even. They have been for several years and we notice that there is more equality, that any team beats any other team, which is increasingly difficult to play as an away team," he said.
"The teams have become stronger at home because they know that in order to achieve their goals they must do it well at home. The teams have become stronger at home because they know that in order to achieve their goals they must do it well at home," Messi added.