Elche Coach Fran Escriba believes Barcelona have been badly treated by the media for their perceived poor season to date.
The Blaugrana were eliminated from the Champions League at the quarter-final stage and lost in the Copa Del Rey final against Real Madrid.
However, with two matches of the season remaining, Tata Martino’s side know they will successfully defend their La Liga title should they win both of their games.
The first of these is against Escriba’s Franjiverde team tomorrow, but the tactician has warned the Camp Nou giants to expect a tough task if they want the three points.
“I know that my team will compete,” he said at his pre-match Press conference. “We have competed all season and I think we have a chance to draw the match and even to win it.
“Barca are a great team, but rather than look at them we need to look at ourselves. We need to step up, as we did at Camp Nou.
“The Barcelona squad have been unfairly treated and they deserve more respect than they have been given at the end of this League season.
“They will come and they will be what they are. A team who look to make the ball work and have possession, patience and people playing between the lines.
“We need to be intense. I think we have competed well with the big teams.
“I hope that we can beat Barcelona in front of our own fans, but everyone knows a draw would be a good result. I am optimistic that we will stay up. I’ve always said it.”
Finally, Escriba had it pointed out to him that he once said he would prefer Atletico Madrid to win La Liga.
“At the time yes I said I wanted Atletico to win the League, but what matter to me more is my team. I will congratulate whoever wins the title.”