Ernesto Valverde: 'We will try and control the game from the start'

Ernesto Valverde: 'We will try and control the game from the start'

The blaugrana coach emphasises how difficult Sunday's game against Espanyol will be while also focusing on 'the importance of getting three points to maintain the lead at the top of the table'

FC Barcelona manager Ernesto Valverde spoke to the assembled media in his pre-match press conference as he discussed the latest in a string of Barcelona derbies. Barçaknocked Espanyol out of the Copa del Rey over two legs.

On Espanyol: “After the last two games in such a short amount of time I don’t think there will be many surprises. They will play with enthusiasm, pressure and they will try and repeat their result in the first leg of the Copa.” 

On Iniesta: “It is possible that Iniesta won’t start. As it is a derby it will be very intense. If we rest him it will be because he has played a lot and we have lots of players who need a rest.” 

On Dembélé: “It is too early for Dembélé. We are going to be careful with him. We will bring him back slowly like we did the last time.”

On the margin of points: “I don’t want to relax because of the lead we have. Thinking about it might lead to making mistakes and there are lots of points still to play for. Our intention is to win tomorrow and get another three points.”

On the game: “They are a team who will put pressure on us and we have to be just as motivated. We have to start quickly and demonstrate we want to win the game from the start.”

On an attacking balance: “If you attack well, you defend well. If you don’t have opportunities to score then you open yourself up to having problems in defence. Our objective is to attack well. Then we need to be patient and not commit too many people.”

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