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Mar 10, 2018 at 7.45pm UK at ​Estadio La Rosaleda (Málaga)
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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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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Liverpool1613303462842
2Manchester CityMan City1613214593641
3Tottenham HotspurSpurs16120430161436
4Chelsea16104233132034
5Arsenal16104235201534
6Manchester UnitedMan Utd167542826226
7Everton166642319424
8Bournemouth167272526-123
9Leicester CityLeicester166462120122
10Wolverhampton WanderersWolves166461719-222
11West Ham UnitedWest Ham166372325-221
12Watford166372023-321
13Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton166371922-321
14Cardiff CityCardiff1642101530-1514
15Newcastle UnitedNewcastle163491322-913
16Crystal Palace1633101323-1012
17Burnley1633101532-1712
18Huddersfield TownHuddersfield1624101027-1710
19Southampton161691330-179
20Fulham1623111640-249

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