Ernesto Valverde has been talking all things Copa del Rey in his pre-match press conference on Tuesday.
The Barcelona boss didn’t give too much away about his team selection, but he did confirm Jasper Cillessen is fit enough to start and that we should also expect some B teamers.
Here are the best bits:
Valverde on the Copa del Rey
The cup is a very important competition. I don’t understand the idea of not going for one tournament to focus on another.
We need to avoid surprises and play a good game because our opponents will be playing at 200%,
We are expecting a rival who will try to play well, taking the ball from behind. They can count on the enthusiasm of the crowd, and it’s a difficult game for us in that sense.
The opponent has a lot to win, it’s a massive game for them.
Valverde on his potential line-up
We’ll be using some players that don’t get to play as much and there are high hopes pinned on them.
It’s possible that we will play with two centre backs from the B team, because Piqué and Lenglet are carrying the burden of the lot of playing time, but the competition rules restrict us.
I know we can play up to four [B team players at the same time], but then if there is an injury, we have to make two substitutions, because you can be confused by the rules... We will see.
Valverde on Cillessen
He’s fine. He had a bad day yesterday but he’s OK today and will play tomorrow. We’re very happy with him and the game will do him good.