After a two-day break, the first team got back to work on Wednesday morning with a training session at the Ciutat Esportiva. There’s no midweek fixture this week, but next Sunday brings the first away trip of the Liga season, to Bilbao to face Athletic Club.
In ten visits to the Basque city, Barça have won five games, drawn four and lost just once. The one and only loss was on the first ever appearance at the new San Mamés in the 2013/14 season, when the Lions took the three points thanks to a 1-0 win.
Gerard Pique regards Barcelona as ‘the best team in the country’ and therefore ‘the team to beat’ this season. The Catalans landed the title last year, their second in succession, and Pique has told Marca that the aim is to claim all available pieces of silverware, having started with the Supercopa de Espana.
Valencia are angered by Barcelona’s push for Paco Alcacer and are considering reporting the Catalans to FIFA for negotiating with the player. AS reports that while Barca are sure they’ll get a deal for the striker and cite a meeting and alleged agreement between Josep Maria Bartomeu and Peter Lim over Alcacer, the likes of President Layhoon Chan, sporting director Jesus Garcia Pitarch and Coach Pako Ayestaran insist there’s no deal and Alcacer is staying.