Guardiola: It's win or bust
Barcelona boss Pep Guardiola admitted that defeat in Saturday's El Clasico against Real Madrid at Camp Nou would crown his bitter rivals as Spanish champions.
"La Liga is in Real's hands. If they win tomorrow or draw, it's all over. If we want to continue to believe in our chances, then only a victory will be good enough," said Guardiola on Friday.
Defending champions Barcelona are four points behind Real with five matches left, but Guardiola was keen to stress that his team deserve credit for the way they have eaten into their rivals' lead in recent weeks.
"It wasn't so long ago that we were a long way behind, between ten and 13 points. Now to be in this position, to still be alive in the championship, to work so hard, it's a luxury."
Guardiola added that he expected Real to press for the three points on Saturday. "They will come to win. I would be very surprised if they thought that a draw would be enough," he said.
"Real have great qualities, can play defensively or on attack," he added. "They are a little like Chelsea [who beat Barça 1-0 in the UEFA Champions League in midweek], physically they are very strong and very quick on the counter-attack."
Barcelona could be without Chilean striker Alexis Sanchez for the match who suffered a right thigh injury in the Champions League semi-final, first leg defeat at Chelsea. "We will see what he is like tomorrow, but at the moment he is very doubtful," said Guardiola.