Barcelona News: Valverde makes a surprising claim about Real Madrid

Barcelona take on Las Palmas on Thursday with a chance of stretching their lead at the top to seven points whilst creating a gap of 17 points between them and bitter rivals Real Madrid.

Real have had a time in domestic competitions this season. Out of all cup competitions in Spain and currently 14 points behind in the La Liga title, it is safe to say that the Blancos’ only chance of silverware lies in the UEFA Champions League.

That theory, however, doesn’t stand firm with Barcelona manager Ernesto Valverde. The former Bilbao coach who is in his first season with the Catalans sees his side dominant in Spain while being touted as one of the favourites for the Champions League.

Valverde though doesn’t want to count out Real Madrid from the La Liga title race – the manager surprisingly claimed in the lead up to their game against Las Palmas.

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Atletico Madrid are currently considered as the only realistic challengers to Barcelona’s claim to another La Liga title.

However, Valverde claims Zidane's Real can catch his Barcelona side.

'Until the mathematics says otherwise you should not rule out any team,' he said.

All three points the same

The La Liga title race may well be decided this coming weekend when Barcelona welcome Atletico to the Bernabeu. Valverde, however, has kept his focus firmly on the task ahead on Thursday and believes that this game is as important as the one at the weekend.

'The three points from Thursday are just as important as the game against Atlético Madrid on Sunday,' he added.

'Las Palmas will pressure us high up the field and they will try to bring the ball out from the back.

'That will be work for us and at the same time they have improved defensively in recent matches.'

These are sensitive times in the La Liga as it enters the home stretch. Any mistake from Barcelona and they can see their lead go down to a single point by the end of Sunday.

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