With three away games in the space of a week in both La Liga and the Champions League, Barça boss Ernesto Valverde is not looking beyond Saturday’s encounter in the Butarque stadium against Leganés (4.15pm CET). “They [Leganés] are a team who have conceded in just one game of five at home in the league. It will be a tough game and now we start a difficult run of fixtures up to Christmas, but we know that there is a lot at stake in these three away games,” said Valverde, referring not just to this weekend’s game but the midweek trip to Turin to take on Juventus and the following weekend’s test away at La Liga’s second placed team Valencia.
With Javier Mascherano out through injury and Gerard Piqué and Samuel Umtiti both just a yellow card away from suspension, the choice of centre backs for Leganés was a recurring question in the press room at the Ciutat Esportiva on Friday. “We have good centre backs, you can never predict what’s going to happen and there are always injuries when you least expect it,” added Valverde.
“This Saturday we will put out our best team. We will take into account it is a week with difficult opponents, the first of which is Leganés,” continued the Barça coach before reminding everyone that despite the blaugranes’ current advantage at the top of table “after this week there will be 26 games left and so the advantage is not decisive.”
Finally, when asked about the decision to bring in goal line technology (VAR) to La Liga starting from next season, Valverde was positive: “The idea is a good one but everything in its own time. VAR should help to make everything fairer.”