'It's crunch time!' - Iniesta calls for Barcelona focus ahead of huge Real Madrid double-header

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The Barca legend identified his former side's advantage going into back-to-back Clasicos but also expects Atletico to be in the Liga title mix

Andres Iniesta has called for Barcelona to retain their focus ahead of a Clasico double-header against Real Madrid

Barca first face their eternal rivals in the second leg of the Copa del Rey semi-finals on Wednesday before taking in a second derby at the Bernabeu on Saturday, with many speculating over whether the clashes will be decisive in giving either side a psychological edge in the title race.

Speaking to Goal and DAZN , Iniesta made it clear that leagues aren't won in February and insisted that Atletico Madrid, who are currently seven points behind Barca in the table, will also pose a threat to their title amibitions.

"Barcelona have an advantage, of course, but you don't win the league in February," the World Cup winner said. "There are still many games left, not only in the league but also in the Champions League. It's crunch time.

"Furthermore, we can't forget about Atletico – the Rojiblancos are currently Barcelona's closest competitors. It'll be exciting until the end.

"Real Madrid had some games in the first half of the season where they didn't get as many points as they usually do, that's why Barca was able to generate an advantage.

"One must not forget though that Real Madrid are still in the Champions League and in the semi-finals of the Copa del Rey. As always, they will fight until the end, even in the league."

Iniesta is no stranger to football's most famous club derby having played in 30 Clasicos during his time in Catalunya, but was at pains to choose his favourite of the bunch despite there being more than a few maulings to choose from.

"It's hard to pick out one game as a favourite but the 6-2 and 4-0 wins at the Bernabeu were really special," he said.

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"We also won 5-0 in Barcelona, but there were other, closer matches which we won that were less spectacular. I still have good memories of those too."

Barca are currently nine points ahead of third-placed Real Madrid in the Liga table, while they can also book their place in the Copa del Rey final should they get a positive result on Wednesday night.

Ernesto Valverde's side are also in the last 16 of the Champions League and will look to build on a first-leg draw against Lyon, with that game finishing 0-0 in France.

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