Barça begin the defence of their Copa del Rey title this Tuesday against Real Murcia in the Nueva Condomina (9.30pm CET). The day before the game, coach Ernesto Valverde appeared in the press room at the Ciutat Esportiva to give his thoughts on the two legged last 32 tie.

“It’s one of the most difficult games. It’s important to be prepared mentally going into the match. It will be difficult because our opponents are from a different division but they will grow against us,” began the coach.

“Murcia are a team with history. We are looking at it as another tie, we want to go ahead to defend our title."

“Football is a permanent test and we have to prove ourselves all the time. Tomorrow there will be changes but the objective is still the same. We have to respond against a team who will be motivated and have the whole city behind them.”

Valverde rounded off by giving a clue as to the team he will put out in the Copa del Rey: “Vermaelen will probably have his chance tomorrow, he is fine and mentally ready. Aleix Vidal and Arda are out due to injury.” 

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