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Ernesto Valverde talks Ousmane Dembele, Philippe Coutinho and Ivan Rakitic ahead of PSV

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The Barcelona wants to seal top spot with a win

FC Barcelona Training Session and Press Conference Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images

Ernesto Valverde faced the press ahead of Wednesday’s Champions League match against PSV Eindhoven.

Barcelona have already qualified for the knockout stages, but the Barcelona boss made it pretty clear he’ll be going with a strong team in order to win and claim top spot.

Here are the best bits:

Valverde on winning the group

We know what a big difference there is between finishing first or second in the group. And the way to ensure we top the group is by winning tomorrow so that’s what we want to do.

Valverde on Coutinho and Rakitic

I think that Coutinho and Rakitic are both ready to return. We still have to see how this evening’s training sessions goes, but we’re optimistic.

Valverde on Dembele

If he starts, he can unbalance teams. And when he comes off the bench, he can always change a game. It’s something I value a lot. In football, it’s not really valued but it’s important to have players that can change the dynamic of a game and not everyone has that quality.

We hope the goal he scored against Atletico helps. It was important for the player, important for everyone. It was really important because it meant we did not lose a game we would have lost.

Valverde on Rafinha

The January transfer window is close and we will have time to analyse the circumstance and assess them. It’s a big loss for the team and it’s a shame for Rafinha,

Valverde on PSV

PSV are having an incredible season, the team is very recognisable and together. They’re a great opponent. They have some very useful players like Luuk de Jong. It will be important for us to stop him.