Denmark international Daniel Wass believes it is "difficult" for Real Madrid to win La Liga this season and intends to make it nigh-on impossible for Zinedine Zidane's men by leading Celta Vigo to victory at the Santiago Bernabeu on Saturday.
Madrid fell 12 points behind Barca last weekend following a 1-0 derby defeat to Atletico Madrid and, although it returned to winning ways at Levante on Wednesday, that deficit was restored when the Catalans beat Rayo Vallecano on Thursday.
It is arguably a good time to face Madrid with striker Karim Benzema out injured and fellow first-team regulars Marcelo, Gareth Bale and Luka Modric having just returned to training. And Wass is hoping to capitalise by strengthening Celta's bid for a Europa League place.
He told a news conference: "We are going to play as we know, be faithful to our gameplan and to take the three points. All games in Spain are special but when you face one of the great teams it is even more so. I'm looking forward to playing at the Bernabeu."
"There are still many games to go but Barcelona are at the top and have an important advantage over Real Madrid. This is football and anything can happen, but now I see it as difficult [for Madrid to win the league]."
Celta played out a goalless draw at home to fourth-placed Villarreal on Wednesday, with the visitor intent on securing the point that preserves their advantage over the chasing pack.
Wass added: "I was surprised that they were so defensive. It was a difficult game against a good team and we played well. We tried to get the three points, but the draw is positive."
Celta is a point ahead of seventh-placed Athletic Bilbao and Wass admits its chances of qualifying for Europe appear to be on track. "So far, it looks good," he said, "but we have to win more games to remain ahead of the challengers. We must get the maximum number possible."
Borja Mayoral is set to keep his place in the Madrid side having made his full debut in the win at Levante. The 18-year-old impressed at the Estadio Ciudad de Valencia with his shot hitting the post before going in off goalkeeper Diego Marino for Madrid's second goal.
Zidane said: "We know what Borja [Mayoral] can provide us with. He is the second number nine in the squad, no doubt about that. There is just Benzema and him. There are many players but he’s doing well and he is also committed to the team. He works well in training and he’s very young. He feels confident in the pitch and plays with huge personality. That’s the most important thing."