Barcelona full-back Adriano has said his team won’t be taking its trip to Granada this weekend lightly, despite holding a 12-point advantage at the top of the Spanish League table.

The Catalans stretched their lead with a 6-1 demolition of Getafe last weekend and the Brazilian believes it is better to maintain that kind of form heading into their Champions League tie against AC Milan next Wednesday than rest players.

“We know we have a good advantage over Atletico and Real Madrid, but we cannot forget the league,” he said.

“If we take our foot off the accelerator they will be there. We cannot stop. Every game we go for it 100 per cent.

Final straight

“We know we are entering the final straight of the Champions League, but we have an important match on Saturday,” he added, with the southern side having beaten Real Madrid and Deportivo in the last fortnight.

“It will be a difficult match, they are in very good form coming off the back of two consecutive victories.”

However, with matches against Sevilla and a Copa del Rey semifinal second-leg against Real Madrid to follow its trip to Italy in midweek, the 28-year-old accepts it will be a tiring spell for his side.

Villa out

Barcelona will be without David Villa on Saturday as he has been taken back into hospital with kidney stone pain, while Xavi remains on the sidelines despite returning to light training on Wednesday.

Granada welcomes the league leader in the midst of its best spell of the season with three wins from four games and, following its 1-0 defeat of Madrid in its last home outing, former Barca striker Nolito believes it can spring another surprise.

“We are preparing for a normal match. The same way that we prepared against Madrid or against Depor,” he said.

“Football is 11 against 11. We can beat them. They have to lose someday.”

Granada coach Lucas Alcaraz will have to do without Dani Benitez though as the winger has been ruled out for six weeks after undergoing a hernia operation earlier in the week.

Playing keep up

Real Madrid, meanwhile, will try to keep up its chase of Barcelona when it hosts capital neighbour Rayo Vallecano on Sunday night.

Rayo did Real a favour when it beat Atletico Madrid 2-1 last weekend to reduce Atletico’s advantage over Jose Mourinho's men to just four points.

And with Rayo riding high itself in sixth place, midfielder Roberto Trashorras believes it can claim another sensational three points.

Alonso may be rested

Mourinho is expected to give Xabi Alonso a rest after he played through the pain of a back injury in Wednesday's 1-1 draw with Manchester United in the Champions League and Real is also without the suspended Alvaro Arbeloa, Luka Modric and Gonzalo Higuain.

Atletico, meanwhile, will be able to recall Diego Costa from suspension as it aims to win for the first time in six away league games when it travels to Valladolid on Sunday afternoon.

Malaga entertains Athletic Bilbao at La Rosaleda on Saturday, while Valencia is at home to struggling Mallorca on Sunday, and the meeting of Espanyol and Betis brings together two of La Liga's form teams. — AFP


  • Granada coach Lucas Alcaraz will have to do without Dani Benitez


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