Alaves boss Abelardo Fernandez has promised to make it a difficult night for league leaders Barcelona in their showdown on Tuesday night.

The Basque club have an outside chance of sealing a Europa League spot while the Catalans are closing in on the La Liga title.

However, the former Barcelona player pointed to the fact that underdogs can often cause surprises in football.

“We cannot allow them to come and stroll around,” he said at a press conference on Monday.

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“It’s difficult to surprise them. They have players with technical quality and speed in attack.

“They are the best team in the league. But football is one of those sports where the underdog can win.

“We need to go out without pressure.”We have to fight, cover their movements and not allow them time to think.”

BARCELONA, SPAIN – AUGUST 18: Head coach Abelardo Fernandez of Deportivo Alaves reacts during the La Liga match between FC Barcelona and Deportivo Alaves at Camp Nou on August 18, 2018 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)

For Alaves, this is an important match given that they are still fighting to qualify for the Europa League, although Abelardo pointed out that the objective for the season was simply to avoid relegation.

“We have completed our objective for the season,” he said in a quote via Marca.

“Now we’re in a battle for European qualification that we didn’t expect to be in.”

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