Barcelona defender Carles Puyol is confident the Spanish champions can catch Real Madrid in the race for this season's title.

The Catalan giants sit five points behind Los Blancos in the race for La Liga, having handed the advantage back to Jose Mourinho's side following a 1-1 weekend draw against Espanyol.

However, the veteran Spanish international remains confident that the gap can be closed at the top of the table, with their 3-1 victory in the 'El Clasico' at the Santiago Bernabeu last month a source of optimism at the Nou Camp.

"Five points is a significant distance, but it can be retrieved," Puyol told the official Barcelona website.

"We will not concede the league and we will fight to the end. We still aim to be champions."

Puyol was speaking ahead of tonight's Copa del Rey last 16 second-leg clash against Osasuna, with the European Champions holding a 4-0 advantage from the first leg at the Nou Camp.

Pep Guardiola is expected to rotate his side for the clash at the Estadio Reyno de Navarra, whilst full-back Dani Alves is an injury concern after feeling 'discomfort' in his leg.

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