Barcelona manager Ernesto Valverde has voiced his displeasure at his side’s busy schedule this week, complaining about having one less day to prepare for Sunday’s encounter with Atletico Madrid than their opponents.
Thursday night sees Barca travel to Las Palmas before returning home to host Atletico at the weekend, and having only three days between La Liga matches has not gone down well with Valverde.
“This time it’s us who have the long journey and who play a day later than Atletico. It’s not Atletico’s fault – and it could have been the reverse.
“They sometimes have to play in Europe on Thursday and then in the league on Sunday but we’re talking about La Liga here, not two different competitions. Considering the importance of Sunday’s game, [La Liga] should have had it in mind.”
Currently sitting seven points clear of Atletico at the top of the league, Barcelona are prepared for a big match against Diego Simeone’s side but Valverde believes the title race is not over.
One worry for Barcelona fans is the injury to Gerard Pique. The centre half was forced off during ?his side’s 6-1 destruction of Girona at the weekend, but Valverde insists there’s nothing to be concerned about.
“Pique is fine,” he said. “He trained as normal [on Tuesday] and if he’s playing it’s because he’s fit. I had to take him off against Girona, not to do with his knee injury, he took a different knock. A strong knock, but not to do with the injury before.
“If he is fit, then he’s ready to play, there’s nothing strange going on there.”