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Valverde talks Pique and Dembele fitness, Mina and Valencia

FC Barcelona v Deportivo Alaves - La Liga Santander Photo by Laurens Lindhout/Soccrates/Getty Images

Ernesto Valverde has been taking questions from the press ahead of tomorrow’s Copa del Rey semi-final second leg against Valencia at the Mestalla.

He gave an update on the fitness of both Gerard Pique and Ousmane Dembele as well as discussing his options at centre-back. Here are the best bits:

Valverde on Pique

It’s true he had some discomfort after the game. But he hasn’t been ruled out for tomorrow’s game. We’ll see today whether or not he can play and that’s the situation. He’ll test things out, he’ll train and we’ll see.

Valverde on Yerry Mina

He’s been in the squad recently and that means he’s ready to play. It depends on what happens, he has to be ready to go and we’ll see if that happens tomorrrow.

We think he can help us and of course there will be issues that come up and we have to try and correct them. He wants to learn a lot of things, he has energy, we hope he can overcome these things and become an important player.

Valverde on other centre-back options

Players that can play in multiple positions is an advantage for us, versatility is good. We have to choose based on the situation and based on who is available. There’s Thomas Vermaelen, there’s Yerry Mina, we have other options like Sergio Busquets, Lucas Digne. It depends on the situation. Someone will be there for sure.

Valverde on Valencia

Each team will be loyal to their style but Valencia will try to be more aggressive in attack because of the result from the first leg. Both teams will go for it. We are going to have to score there in order to go through.

Valverde on Dembele

He’s good, he’s training with the team. I think he’ll be ready maybe next week or the week after.

Valverde on Suarez being a booking away from missing the final

I’ve spoken to him once or twice about something like this. But in the end, the players are who they are and they carry it on the inside. With his aggressive play, looking for spaces and scoring chances, that is his style and sometimes it draws a yellow card. He knows how to look out for himself, but if I’m afraid because he has two cards and may miss the final, well we’re not in the final yet, we are playing to get there.

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