Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Barca keep their foot down

SoccerNews in La Liga 8 Apr 2011


Barcelona boss Pep Guardiola thinks there are some twists still to come in the La Liga title race, despite his team holding an eight-point lead.

Guardiola’s men have reigned supreme in Spain this season, and are eight points clear of second-placed Real Madrid with eight games to play.

But the coach insists his side will be taking nothing for granted ahead of Saturday’s visit of bottom side Almeria, who they have beaten 8-0, 5-0 and 3-0 already this season.

Almeria will be under the stewardship of new coach Roberto Olabe for the first time after he replaced the sacked Jose Luis Oltra this week, and Guardiola believes this could make them a dangerous proposition.

“I can see us dropping some points – it could be one of tomorrow’s three,” Guardiola said. “Things can get complicated and we need to maintain this advantage.”

“They are playing for a lot, they have a new coach and are starting a new era. They will do new things and have different motivations.”

“We can’t just look at the last game against them and know what they will do. Against Shakhtar we had previous information, but for this game we have to be very alert.”

“It’s one of the difficulties. We are eight games from the end of the season. We remember the games against Jerez and Tenerife last year, and how hard things are going to be.”

Guardiola is also wary of Real Madrid, with his side preparing for back-to-back fixtures against Jose Mourinho’s men – beginning with a league meeting at the Bernabeu on April 16 followed by the Copa del Rey final four days later.

“You can’t take things lightly at the Bernabeu ever,” Guardiola said.

“Against Madrid, a team with more European Cups than anyone and voted the team of the 20th century, it doesn’t matter what the gap is when you go there. You have to field your best team and play as best you can.”

“We will prepare for the game on the 16th after the games with Almeria and Shakhtar.”

“Once the game is over, we will play another, and prepare for the cup final in the moment.”

“I know that Barcelona can win, and that Real Madrid can win. We are both good teams, and will take each game as it comes.”



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