Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde has spoken to the press ahead of Tuesday’s Copa del Rey clash with Murcia.
Valverde was mostly quizzed about the team selection and said that both Arda Turan and Aleix Vidal are out due to injury.
While he didn’t confirm who would start, he did speak encouragingly about both Jose Arnaiz and Thomas Vermaelen, who we should see in action tomorrow night.
Here are the best bits...
Valverde on Jose Arnaiz
“He has great qualities, he takes people on, he works hard, scores goals, he has that little spark. You are always looking for players who can bring you that in attack.”
Valverde on Aleix Vidal and Arda Turan
“They are both out for tomorrow. Arda got the medical all clear and then he had a relapse with the same problem. Aleix had a problem with his ankle, the one he had an operation on last season and he's had a few problems with that.”
Valverde on Luis Suarez
“Tomorrow he will rest. He's not selected for tomorrow and that will be good for him. We talked about this before. He's a player who gets a lot of chances. If he did not have chances, that would worry me. So it's a question of centre-forwards getting the chances, he has them, and generally Luis usually has opportunities in every game because of the way he battles. I'm not too worried.”
Valverde on Murcia
Tomorrow players who perhaps have not played that much will play and some who usually play with play and let's see how we do. It’s a test for everyone, the coach as well. They will be very motivated, because we are going there, for Murcia this is their biggest game of the season. There'll be lineup changes against Murcia & Barça B players who can help. But we want to win.”
Valverde on Vermaelen
“I spoke with him. I’m very happy with the way he is performing in training. He’s not playing many matches and it’s not an easy situation. But we have four centre-backs in the team and it’s difficult to put four centre-backs in the same squad. He will have to wait for his chance and when his chance comes, possibly tomorrow, he will have to take it. From a mental point of view he looks good and is training every day.”