Real Madrid assistant boss Aitor Karanka has dismissed Pep Guardiola’s claims that it is impossible for Barcelona to catch their rivals in the title race. Barcelona’s victory over Sevilla at the weekend, coupled with Madrid being pegged back for a draw by Malaga, cut Los Blancos’ lead at the top of La Liga to eight points, but still Guardiola is playing down his team’s chances of hauling in the capital club. Karanka, speaking ahead of Wednesday night’s league match at Villarreal, live on Sky Sports HD3 , told www.marca.com: “Sometimes in football things are said that are not intended. They always have been, and we are not interested in what is being said out there. “We want to continue working in the same way. Whatever comes out is not our problem. We have an important points difference and we must continue like this.” The draw against Malaga ended an astonishing 11-match winning run for Real in La Liga. In contrast, Villarreal have endured a season of struggle and the Yellow Submarine appointed Miguel Angel Lotina as their third coach of the season, in succession to Jose Molina. Villarreal have taken just one point from their last five games and sit one place and three points above the bottom three with 11 games to go. They have been badly affected by the absence of star Italian striker Giuseppe Rossi, who suffered season-ending injury in October. The club’s official website reported that Cani is fit for the visit of Real after a hamstring strain but Borja Valero, Rossi and Jose Manuel Catala remain out injured – while Carlos Marchena is suspended. Brazilian midfielder Kaka is set to start for Madrid. He started the last two matches against CSKA Moscow and Malaga but was first player substituted in both games. Despite that, Jose Mourinho has expressed his faith in the player.
Villarreal v Real Madrid preview