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Ernesto Valverde sends La Liga title race warning to Barcelona: “They cannot fail”

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Photo by Juan Manuel Serrano Arce/Getty Images

After gallantly triumphing over Getafe with a 4-0 scoreline, Barcelona are now set to divert their focus to a bigger fish, with Athletic Club awaiting them at San Mames tomorrow night.

The Basque side are presently in fifth place in the La Liga points table and have made it to the Copa del Rey finals.

Ernesto Valverde, a familiar face in Barcelona, is responsible for overseeing his side’s impressive campaign and will once again be looking to get the better of his former team, having already knocked them out of the Copa del Rey.

Speaking ahead of the highly anticipated clash, he answered some of the media’s burning questions via Mundo Deportivo

Highlighting the fact that Barcelona trail behind Real Madrid by a considerable gap, he acknowledged they intend to grab all three points and overcome this conspicuous disadvantage.

“It is clear that they are at a disadvantage, eight points behind Madrid. If they want to win La Liga they cannot fail, but it is an issue that they must handle. When you come to a game, there is always an urge to win, on their part and on ours,” Valverde said.

Additionally, Valverde commented on the differences between the Barcelona they most recently defeated in the Copa del Rey quarterfinals and the one they lock horns with tomorrow.

The former Barça boss identified the inclusion of Andreas Christensen in midfield as a significant change in the Barcelona XI, as the Dane’s involvement in the pivot role has in turn liberated the team and the rest of the midfielders.

“Not much time has passed; something has changed, now Christensen is playing as a defensive midfielder, reinforcing that position as a defensive player and trying not to lose forward play,” the tactician observed.

Further adding that their recent form has showcased an upward trajectory, Valverde mentioned the games against Napoli and Getafe:

“They also come from good games, they played very well in Napoli, and they deserved to win. The other day, they played very well against Getafe.

“They are in a good moment, and I suppose they come with the intention of winning, to take advantage of the fact that we have played in a short time, and also with a view to their prospects for the league.

“Otherwise, they haven’t changed much either; in football, a week or two weeks is a world; the dynamics change because you go based on the confidence generated by the results. 

“We expect a great Barça and we have to play a great game to be able to win,” he added.

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