Alves on El Marcador. PHOTO: MIGUEL RUIZ-FCB.

After the hard-won victory over Betis on Sunday night and with the two Cup games against Madrid on the horizon, Dani Alves told the Barça TV programme "El Marcador" that: "Clasicos are always close affairs, regardless of the teams' current form. We'll do our best to put on a good show and will try and be at our best. We'll really have to compete to take anything positive from the Bernabéu."

Experience

Alves is clearly looking forward to the clashes with Barça's big rivals and reflected on Guardiola's team's recent dominance in the fixture: "I've played a lot of these games and it's been a positive balance overall. These are games you really want to play in, they are so enjoyable. Now we are going into another game – I guess that's only normal, because when big teams are on form, they are going to come up against each other. We'll be well prepared for the game – let's see what happens."

No room for error

As to the 4-2 win over Betis, Alves admitted: "we didn't get much continuity in the game and played very intermittently. I don't think that is just down to us though, Betis deserve praise for the way they played. We bounced back though. There is really so little room for error from now until the season's end I like that because it means the team are more focussed – we can't relax and I'm sure we will fight right till the end, I've no doubt about that."

Fully fit

Alves was rested as a precaution against Osasuna last week, but made it clear that he's back to full fitness now: "I feel fine. After the Espanyol game we decided that as a precautionary measure I would rest, but now I am fully recovered." As ever in the Spanish League, there has been plenty of talk about refs of late, but Alves refused to be drawn into it, explaining: "we just have to focus on our own game and getting over all the problems we might face. When we are at our best, any decision by a ref isn't going to have any effect. Excuses are not something that winning teams should use – and we are a winning team!"