Friday January 3 2014
‘Elche can upset Barcelona’

Fran Escriba has reflected that Elche believe they can get a result at Barcelona, even if he admits their chances are slim.

The Valencian side return to League action on Sunday afternoon with a tricky trip to the Camp Nou, very much as the underdogs to take anything away from the Catalans, a team they have never beaten in La Liga on the road.

“This is the game that we want to play and, even as we recognise it will be very difficult, it will not be impossible to score points,” began Escriba in his pre-match conference today.

“If we thought otherwise, then we would not be playing football. We know we have only a small chance, but we will try to take something away.

“We must play a great game and see that they do not have their chances, as if they do it will be almost impossible to get a result.

“We have to be very strong in defence and must try to be effective in front of goal, whilst we know that this is easy to say and very difficult to capture on a field against a team as powerful as Barcelona.

“But, the players will go out on to the field with that ambition. We have to play this like any other game, leaving everything on the field and taking the chances that are presented to us.”

Lionel Messi is back to full training, whilst Victor Valdes has received medical clearance ahead of this game.

“That they have recovered is not good news for us, although Barcelona is just as good a team without them as they are with them. Honestly, I am not concerned if they play.

“I see this Barcelona as level with that of Guardiola. They have been without the best player in the world and have continued adding points.

“We must try to be brave, even as they have many alternatives to be able to break the scoreline at any moment. We should not think about taking a draw from the kick-off, because for sure we will lose.”

Football Italia website