Barcelona boss Luis Enrique admits he is wary of “fearsome and difficult” Valencia ahead of Sunday’s La Liga clash at Camp Nou.
Only a will will do for Barca if they are to keep their flagging hopes of a third straight League crown alive, the Catalans having lost to Deportivo La Coruna last weekend, while Valencia equally need the points to secure their top-flight status.
“They’re always a fearsome and difficult team to play, beyond their system. I’m worried about who will have the ball and them sitting back,” the Coach said at a Press conference.
“They have players that don’t correspond to their position in the table.
“They’re direct with Zaza and they play a lot of combinations, in addition to having made a great signing in Orellana.
“It’d be impossible for me to be angry with [assistant Juan Carlos] Unzue if he replaced me because we’ve known each other for many years.
“My wish as a Cule would be to retire at Barca, but you’re also perfectly able to try another experience like Xavi.
“Messi? He has the same numbers as in previous seasons. I’ve thought about the possibility of giving him some rest, but it’s difficult because he’s the best in the world.
“Munir? Under Voro, he’s getting more minutes. He has a lot of potential, he’s very young and he has a lot of room for improvement. I’m sure he will [improve].
“The title? It’ll be decided in one of the last few matchdays or the last one. The calendar of the teams in Europe and the needs of those below us means we’ll all drop points.
“My replacement? I only know that Las Palmas will have to look for a new Coach…
“International break? For those of us who are staying behind, the staff and some players, we’ll have a more pleasant week, but those who are travelling, they’ll be certainly burdened.”
Barcelona (probable): Ter Stegen; Pique, Umtiti, Alba; Rakitic, Busquets, Iniesta, Rafinha; Messi, Suarez, Neymar
Injuries/suspensions: Vidal (I)
Valencia (probable): Alves; Montoya, Garay, Mangala, Gaya; Enzo, Parejo, Soler; Munir, Zaza, Orellana
Injuries/suspensions: Mina (I), Rodrigo (I), Nani (I)
Referee: Hernandez Hernandez
Form guide: Barca (L W W W W) Valencia (D L W L W)
Previous meeting: Valencia 2-3 Barca
Kick-off time: 19:45 GMT/20:45 CET (LIVE on Football Espana!)