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Ernesto Valverde talks La Liga title, tiredness and Alaves

The latest from the Barcelona boss

FC Barcelona v Real Sociedad - La Liga Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images

Ernesto Valverde has been talking about the La Liga title ahead of Tuesday’s trip to Alaves in La Liga.

The Barcelona boss says he’s expecting a tough game at the Mendizorrotza Stadium and talked about how the team’s looking as well as focusing on several players.

Here are the best bits:

Valverde on Alaves

It will definitely be a difficult game tomorrow because they’re a tough team. They defend well, we usually struggle to score against them. In theory they aren’t in a positive run of form but they’ve had a great season and still have a chance of getting into Europe. For them being able to be included in the European battle is a reward for them. They will try to beat us because three points for any side means a lot at this stage in the season.

Valverde on winning La Liga

I get asked a lot about if I want to clinch the league as soon as possible. Of course I want that, we all want to win. We will see if we’re able to win tomorrow or not. It comes very soon after Sociedad so it’s possible there will be some rotation.

It’s important to win the league. For us and for any team. People look at us from the outside and it seems easy. We’re up against a side tomorrow who are fighting to get into Europe, so it’ll be difficult.

Valverde on Dembele

He played the second league game since his return, he’s still getting back to his rhythm. He’s not exactly the same as before the injury, you have to go through a few games before you’re back. He’s definitely a player who offers us speed and if other teams play very high up, he’s great on counters and we can exploit that. He’s good on one-on-ones as well.

Valverde on Barcelona’s fitness

They look good to me. It’s normal at this stage of the season there’s a bit of tiredness, but likewise we get a boost from how we feel. And when he look at the challenges ahead that eliminates the fatigue. The problem is when there are no objectives ahead and you have nothing to chase, that leaves you feeling a bit more tired.

Valverde on Roberto and Semedo

It’s a possibility we could play them both tomorrow. We did in the other game against Alaves because we had a lot of players who’d returned late from the World Cup. Because Sergi can play in the middle of the park is a plus for us, that’s his natural position because he played there in the youth teams. It depends a little on the opposition, how the players are feeling, what I can read into how they’re doing in training. Sometimes the two of them have played together, at San Mames we did that, it’s a possibility that we have.

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