Barcelona play Real Madrid tomorrow at the Camp Nou and manager Luis Enrique does not think the match will decide the title.
Barcelona are currently six points off Real Madrid at the top, and a loss to their rivals could prove detrimental.
And racking up a third loss of the season will not bode well for Barcelona and Enrique, but the former Madrid midfielder believes it is too early in the season to be placing such emphasis on one game.
He told reporters at his news conference: “Regardless of the result, I don’t think anyone could say it’s decisive.
“It’s the 14th game of the season. Clearly Madrid could take a very interesting lead but whatever the result I don’t think it will be determinant in the league.
“The game is a chance to beat Real Madrid and to get closer to the top of the table, nothing more.”
Luis Enrique does not think a win would end the criticism of his side either, adding: “It’s important to win the Clasico as they are a direct opponent with the same aspirations as us but to think winning would put all criticism behind us is not going to happen. There will always be criticism.”
Barcelona are not anticipating any tactical surprises from Madrid with Luis Enrique expecting the hosts to have the majority of the possession at Camp Nou.
“I think Real Madrid will be similar to last year and the start of this season, they have no problem in letting the opposition have the ball,” he said.
“But they have great transitions, they have quick players, they move the ball quickly with short passes.
“We are going to try to control the ball more, play the possession game, try to generate space that we can then exploit.
“They are a very organised side, a team that does not need the ball to compete and who base their game on the transition out of defence and on set-pieces.
“They are achieving very good results, they have very good players and for us it’s a very special game against our eternal rivals.
“We are at the Camp Nou and we go in with the intention of playing well against a very good opponent.”