NEWS
Saturday February 17 2018
Valverde ‘not thinking of Chelsea’

Ernesto Valverde insists he is focused on Barcelona’s match at Eibar today rather than Tuesday’s meeting with Chelsea.

The La Liga leaders are seven points clear of closest challengers Atletico Madrid as they make the trip to Ipurua for this afternoon’s clash.

However, the Blaugrana boss is taking nothing for granted after last week’s draw with Getafe– despite the first leg of their Champions League last 16 tie looming large.

“Tuesday’s match is important, but so is the one at Ipurua,” Valverde told a Press conference.

“We are thinking about this match. The matches are coming quickly now, I’m not thinking about Chelsea.

“After the draw with Getafe, this match is even more important.”

Barca have drawn their last two League matches, allowing Diego Simeone’s Atletico to claw back four points in the title race.

And the former Athletic Bilbao Coach warns his side have won nothing yet despite still being unbeaten in La Liga this season.

“We still haven’t won anything. The season is going very well but one result or incident can change things.

“The plan is to play every match as if it were our last.

“Getting three more points is more difficult than what people think. The other day against Getafe is an example of that. There is still a long way to go.”

With Tuesday’s opponents Chelsea having played in the FA Cup last night, Valverde would have preferred his side to have done the same.

“The ideal thing for us would have been to play on Friday.

“Chelsea will rest for a day longer than us, for example. But in any case, having a week of rest this week has been good for us.”

Eibar are having another fine season, sitting seventh in the table, and Valverde accepts today’s opponents pose a threat.

“They play with a lot of character and they are more or less in the European places.

“They take you to their level and they are very good there. We need to know how to deal with that pressure.

“If you don’t, they are very strong.”

Football Italia website