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Ernesto Valverde provides squad update ahead of clash against Levante

Barcelona travel to Valencia to take on Levante at Estadi Ciutat de València in a bid to extend their lead at the top of the La Liga

Barcelona are currently leading the pack with 31 points from 15 games. Atletico Madrid have as many points as the Catalans but have played one game more and third placed Real Madrid have 29 points, having played one game extra. A victory tonight will see Barcelona steer 3 points clear of Atletico Madrid and 5 clear of Real Madrid.

Image result for coutinho

Both the Madrid clubs picked narrow victories on Saturday. Levante, on the other hand, have been enjoying a great season and occupy the seventh spot with 22 points under their belt. Barcelona boss Ernesto Valverde spoke ahead of his side’s clash against Levante. “Levante have a very clear way of playing football, they’ve been getting some great results this season, also last season, it’s a continuation. They’ve got a very good counter-attack that works with the players they’ve got.

They’ve got Morales, who is very creative. We suffered last year, they were the only team to beat us. There’s lots to play for, three points will keep us top but we know what a dangerous opponent we are playing. I’m happy with all my players. Sometimes some players play, sometimes others do.

You always ask about those who aren’t playing. Philippe didn’t play the other day but he’s done a lot for us and will do a lot for us. There are certain moments when he doesn’t start, but others when he will. There’s competition for places in this team so don’t read too much into it. We are doing well, all the players are playing to the level required.

I can’t really say too much about Umtiti, he’s recovering, hopefully, we’ll have more specific news shortly. In principle we have three centre-backs, with Vermaelen back from injury. While Umtiti is out obviously I’m looking at the B team. Cuenca, Chumi are players who can come up. We’ll make a decision when we need to.”

Author’s take

Barcelona will have to be at their best if they are to come away with all 3 points from this game and Valverde’s comments about Coutinho are something that the Brazilian will have to keep in mind going forward.

The post Ernesto Valverde provides squad update ahead of clash against Levante appeared first on The12thMan.



This post first appeared on THE TWELFTH MAN TIMES, please read the originial post: here

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Ernesto Valverde provides squad update ahead of clash against Levante

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