The La Liga giants secured the title last season but have so far failed to live up to those standards and currently find themselves lagging behind the Blaugrana in the standings.
Having been held to a goalless draw in their last outing against Athletic Bilbao, Isco has insisted the European champions are not weaker than last term and that injuries have played a big part in their campaign so far.
He said: “Weaker than last season? It’s a bit opportunistic to say that. When the results don’t come out like they did last year, it’s easy to think we’re weaker.
“We have a squad that’s just as competitive as the one we had last season, plus we’ve still not had everyone available due to injuries, and that’s important.”
Richarlison has revealed how he heard of Marco Silva's sacking and admits the Watford squad can't explain their mid-season dip in form.