Valverde - Atletico game not a final

03 March 2018 08:22:04 EST

Sunday's game with Atletico Madrid is not a "final" for the La Liga title, according to Barcelona boss Ernesto Valverde.

The Blaugrana currently sit five points clear at the top of the standings and are yet to taste defeat in the league after 26 games.

However, they were sluggish in Thursday's 1-1 draw at Las Palmas and with them also still in the Copa del Rey and Champions League, Valverde has bemoaned his team's packed schedule.

Los Colchoneros have won their last eight in all competitions and have been quietly going about their business in the midst of the fanfare surrounding Barca and the woes of their local rivals, Real.

It's an attractive match in which the three points are worth a lot.

Ernesto Valverde

A first win at the Nou Camp since 2006 would close the gap at the top of La Liga to two points and reignite the title race.

Atletico are 19/4 to break their duck, with the draw 3/1 and the Blaugrana 4/7.

The pressure is on both sides to perform and Valverde admits he expects plenty of fireworks due to their contrasting styles.

Sunday's match could have the defining say on the destination of the title but the boss insists there will still be plenty of twists and turns.

Valverde told reporters: "Atletico always try to surprise with a high pressure, trying to make their mark from the beginning. We'll see how it goes, but it's an attractive match in which the three points are worth a lot.

"It's important, but it's going to be a lot like that, they are important points for what they mean, but there would still be a world for the end of La Liga.

"I think we both arrive at a good moment in our form."

Barcelona are 1/10000 for the La Liga title, with Atletico available at 1000/1.

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