Koeman: Saturday's Clasico is extra vital than normal
Barcelona coach Ronald Koeman admitted that the upcoming El Clasico with the La Liga title is bigger than normal.
The Catalans were within a point of leaders Atletico Madrid with a 1-0 win over Real Valladolid on Monday, while Real Madrid were two more points behind in third place.
Atletico have lost points in five of their last eight league games, including their 1-0 loss to Sevilla on Sunday, opening the door to the title race.
Barcelona travel to the capital on Saturday to face Madrid while Atletico face fifth Real Betis.
"I think Clasico is always important," said Koeman.
"Of course it is perhaps more important now because of the situation in the league where we and Real Madrid are fighting Atletico Madrid to win the title this season."
"Of course it's an important game with two big teams in the world and of course it's an important result for us to have more opportunities to win the title."
We now control our own destiny. pic.twitter.com/OhXqYNRXzq
– FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) April 5, 2021
Barcelona will enter El Clasico in superb league form, having won their last six LaLiga games and remaining undefeated in 19 games.
Madrid are unbeaten in their last nine league games and have won their last three La Liga games.
"It was really important to win the league tonight after the results to be closer to Atletico now," added Koeman. “But Madrid are also close to them and will be very emotional until the end of the season.
“The team works well. We are confident that we can win the title, but as we saw today, every game is difficult. "