Valverde: Huesca, Alba, Pique…

Ernesto Valverde warns Barcelona ‘must be careful’ against Huesca but will not comment on Jordi Alba’s Spain exclusion or Gerard Pique’s arrest.

Huesca travel to Camp Nou after a win and a draw in their opening two Liga matches, while Alba was absent from Luis Enrique’s first Spain squad and Pique was stopped earlier in the week for driving without points on his licence.

“They’ll come here without fear, so we must be careful. We’ve already had difficulties against newly-promoted teams,” the Barca boss said at a Press conference.

“It’s still too early to know if Huesca have changed much compared to last year, but they’ll nonetheless play with the enthusiasm of a newly-promoted side.

“They come here unbeaten and have played at two demanding stadiums, such as Ipurua and San Mames.

“They’ve played well and with intensity. Their forwards move well and they have midfielders who break forward.

“We want to alternate La Liga and the Champions League. You need to find your rhythm, especially at this point of the season.

“When we return from the international break, the calendar accelerates with matches on Wednesdays and then Copa, so we’ll need our entire squad.

“I’m happy because the window has shut. There are no longer uncertainties in terms of personnel and now we can focus on our football. I’m happy with the team.

“Vidal has integrated into the group very well. He gets on well with everyone. He’ll enter the team soon.

“It’s important that we kept Rafinha. I think he can help us. How many minutes he’ll get depends on how he trains and the matches we have.

“Just as I don’t like other Coaches questioning my squads or line-ups, since I have more information on my team than anyone else, the same applies for national-team boss.

“If Jordi wants to get back into the squad, he’ll have to take the natural route – focusing on his game, working hard and not going crazy ".

“As for Pique, it’s clear that we have a private life but also a public image. I don’t want to get into this without having talked to my player.”

Barca squad for Huesca: Ter Stegen, Cillessen; Semedo, Pique, Rakitic, Busquets, Courtinho, Arthur, Suarez, Messi, Dembele, Malcom, Lenglet, Alba, Munir, Sergi Roberto, Arturo Vidal, Umtiti

Tags Ernesto Valverde Gerard Pique Jordi Alba