Barcelona sense danger in their visit to Granada
Defender Adriano says his team face a difficult period as they juggle home fixtures with their commitments to European competition
Agence France-Presse in Madrid
Barcelona full-back Adriano says his team won't be taking their trip to Granada lightly, despite holding a 12-point advantage at the top of the table.
The Catalans stretched their lead with a 6-1 demolition of Getafe last weekend and the Brazilian believes it is better to maintain that kind of form heading into their Champions League tie against AC Milan next Wednesday than to rest players.
"We know we have a good advantage over Atletico and Real Madrid, but we cannot forget the league," he said. "If we take our foot off the accelerator they will be there. We cannot stop. Every game we go for it 100 per cent. We know we are entering the final straight of the Champions League, but we have an important match [today]."
Granada have beaten Real Madrid and Deportivo in the past fortnight.
"It will be a difficult match, they are in very good form coming off the back of two consecutive victories."
However, with matches against Sevilla and a Copa del Rey semi-final second-leg against Real Madrid to follow their trip to Italy in midweek, Adriano accepts it will be a tiring spell for his side.
"The calendar is very difficult and this month it does not stop," he said. "The truth is when there are more rest days between matches, above all the important ones, you are thankful for it."
Barca will be without David Villa today as he has been taken back into hospital with kidney stone pain, while Xavi remains on the sidelines despite returning to light training on Wednesday.
Granada welcome the league leaders in the midst of their best spell of the season with three wins from four games and, following their 1-0 defeat of Madrid in their last home outing, former Barca striker Nolito believes they can spring another surprise.
"We are preparing for a normal match. The same way that we prepared against Madrid or against Depor," he said. "Football is 11 against 11. We can beat them. They have to lose some day."
Granada coach Lucas Alcaraz will have to do without Dani Benitez as the winger has been ruled out for six weeks after undergoing a hernia operation earlier in the week.
Real Madrid, meanwhile, will try to keep up their chase of Barcelona when they host capital neighbours Rayo Vallecano tomorrow night.
Rayo did Real a favour when they beat Atletico Madrid 2-1 last weekend to reduce Atletico's advantage over Jose Mourinho's men to just four points.
And with Rayo riding high themselves in sixth place, midfielder Roberto Trashorras believes they can claim another sensational three points.
"We are going with the intention of playing a good game. We are not going to take it as lost and the first impression is that we believe we can win," he said.