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Alves out for up to a fortnight

Barcelona defender Dani Alves is set to be out of action for up to a fortnight after suffering a calf injury during the 4-1 victory over Malaga.

La Liga round-up

Alves was forced off after 24 minutes of Sunday's game and, while he is to undergo further tests on Monday, it is believed he could miss up to four games, including the league games against Racing Santander and Hercules.

Meanwhile, Pep Guardiola hailed the efforts of the Barca players after they took a record 52 points from the first 19 games of the season.

"In general terms, we have put in an extraordinary first half to the season," he said. "The challenge now for us is to keep on competing like that and I hope we can so that we get to the end of the season with our options intact."

Barca are now four points clear after Real Madrid drew 1-1 with Almeria, but Guardiola said: "We could drop points at any ground - you can't go to any ground thinking that you've already won the game before a ball is kicked.

"At this stage of the season, four points over a rival as strong as they are is simply anecdotal. If we think we've got it all wrapped up then they'll catch up in a flash.

"We will win if we take each game as we did in the first half - if every three days or so we can go to any ground with the intensity we have shown, whilst respecting our opponents. It's not easy though, by any means."


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