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Barcelona are in for a tough task when they travel to Valencia and Pep Guardiola knows how important the encounter is...

Pep Guardiola believes that Barcelona's game against Valencia could be even more important than other games as he broke from his usual mantra to ensure his players are ready.

The Blaugrana boss is well aware that a win would put his team nine points clear, albeit temporarily, of Real Madrid and could have a huge psychological effect.

With Los Merengues due to play on Sunday, Guardiola is looking for a win against Valencia, but would not talk about any of his side's other forthcoming games.

“I have always said the same thing,” the club's official website quote him as saying. “The next game is the most important. But maybe this one will be something more because it could give us a lift towards the title.

“Every game has to be won and this Saturday we have another tough test then on Sunday we can talk about Chelsea on Wednesday about Madrid."

Looking at the host side, Guardiola believes that the front line quartet could cause Barcelona problems and he is aware that the league leaders defence will have to be on form.

“We know [David]Silva and [David]Villa well,” he continued. “Mata is improving all the time and Pablo always gives the team something extra.”

Unai Emery was also praised for the job that he did at Almeria and the work that he has done this term with Valencia during the club's financial problems.

"He has many more years of experience than me and did a great job in Almeria," the Barca boss stated.

"Now he is at a club where they claim it is not easy to be the coach. He has had the ability to keep things on the right track through some difficult times and is doing well at the right time of the season.”

Lucas Brown, Goal.com

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