“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 aim to do.”
Confident talk from Ernesto Valverde ahead of Wednesday’s 9.00pm CET kick-off away to PSV Eindhoven. Qualification for the last sixteen is already sorted, but any dropped points in the last two games would give Inter the chance to snatch one of the eight seeded slots.
The subject of injuries came up time and again at his Tuesday press conference. “You get all kinds of fitness issues over a season” he answered to one such question. “We managed to cope with our last two Champions League games without Leo Messi. Now we have a number of absentees but we are still going into this game with an eye to winning. I would rather focus on the players that we do have.”
“I also 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.”
“We’re in the Champions League and the idea is always to win. We’re not going to speculate with what might happen between Tottenham and Inter. As long as we win, it doesn’t matter what anyone else does.”
On the Dutch opposition, the Barça manager commented that “they have some very useful players like Luuk de Jong. It will be important for us to stop him. PSV are having an incredible league season, with very quick players and a very recognisable system.”