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Ernesto Valverde talks El Clasico, Samuel Umtiti and Jordi Alba head of Eibar

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The latest from the Barcelona boss

FC Barcelona v Sevilla FC - La Liga Photo by Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

Ernesto Valverde spoke to the press on Thursday ahead of Saturday’s La Liga clash with Eibar at Ipurua.

The Barcelona boss offered his thoughts on El Clasico, Samuel Umtiti and Jordi Alba’s fitness and of course Saturday’s opponents.

Here are the main talking points:

Valverde on El Clasico

It’s true that there was a proposal to change the fixtures round, but we weren’t in favour of that because we play (away) the Wednesday before. There’s nine days to go until the game. We need to respect the calendar and also the fans.

Under normal circumstances we’d play at home. They’re anticipating certain different circumstances and while we know that this week has been out of the ordinary, we are hopeful of playing the game at our ground. That’s what we want to do.

Valverde on Samuel Umtiti

Umtiti has been training with the squad since the start of the week. We hope he is ready to receive the medical discharge. But we will see today after training.

Valverde on Jordi Alba

Jordi Alba is ready to start and play. The other day came a bit too soon for him and he was kept on the bench as a precaution.

Valverde on Eibar

They are really intense. Eibar can make any team’s life difficult. We know how they press and do everything they can to keep you from getting past midfield. It’s a team who know what they do and they do it really well.