Ernesto Valverde faced the press on Friday ahead of Saturday’s trip to Sevilla in La Liga.
The Barcelona boss spoke about misfiring striker Luis Suarez, gave an updateo on Arthur and Samuel Umtiti’s fitness and also talked about Saturday’s opponents.
Here are the best bits:
Valverde on Suarez
He is fine and had a rest last week. Now we have three matches in a row and we’ll see what happens. Luis Suarez guarantees we’ll have chances in each match, so it’d be difficult to go without him.
The questions about Suarez are curious. I’ve had them before, then they disappear. We’re talking about the fifth top scorer in the club’s history. The only thing he can do is persevere and be patient.
Valverde on Arthur
I don’t know [if he’ll play Sevilla]. The day before yesterday he did train with the team, maybe he will today I don’t know. I need to speak to the doctors. We’ve said he should hopefully be back for next week but I can’t guarantee anything
Valverde on Pique
Piqué is a player who plays in almost every game and is fundamental, he has had perhaps lower moments, but now he is very well, Semedo has improved a lot since he arrived and he has tremendous qualities and we still expect more from him.
Valverde on Umtiti
We think that Umtiti’s ready to start. Vermaelen is out injured, Lenglet has a yellow to go to complete the cycle. We all know the ability Sam has. The situation is what it is and we will see what day it is when he plays.
Valverde on Sevilla
Tomorrow’s game is a very important one. We are playing against a very tough opponent, especially at home.
There are other games to think about but we have to put Sevilla behind us first. We aim to increase our lead and give the teams trying to catch us one fewer.
Nothing is decided now or next week. Things need to be decided and there are other teams, Atlético Madrid, who can still pick up points and are in the fight.