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Ernesto Valverde: 'Chelsea game does not take priority'

Valverde not prioritising Chelsea game
© Offside
Barcelona boss Ernesto Valverde insists that "it would be an error" to prioritise next week's meeting with Chelsea over the trip to Malaga on Saturday evening.

Barcelona manager Ernesto Valverde has insisted that all focus is on this weekend's La Liga trip to Malaga, rather than the upcoming showdown with Chelsea in the Champions League.

The Catalan giants claimed a 1-1 draw in last month's last-16 first leg at Stamford Bridge and are favourites to get the job done on home soil next week.

Before that European clash is a game with bottom-of-the-table Malaga, though, and Valverde is adamant that his players will not take their eye off the ball after recently dropping points against Las Palmas.

"All games are important. I think it would be an error to think the Chelsea game is more important for us," he told reporters at his pre-match presser. "The most important game is always the next game.

"As we have found against Las Palmas, we didn't win that game, we went into our next fixture under greater pressure which made the Atletico game even more important. So our objective is to exclusively focus on tomorrow's game.

"We played against Las Palmas who are in relegation trouble and we couldn't win that game. We also know that Malaga won against Barcelona last year and we don't want them to do that again. They are playing at two hundred percent, there will be a good atmosphere and Malaga will make things complicated for us."

Barcelona beat closest challengers Atletico Madrid in their most recent outing to open up a 10-point lead at the summit.

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Lionel Messi in action during the La Liga game between Barcelona and Real Madrid on December 3, 2016
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