Víctor Valdés will, in all likelihood, defend FC Barcelona’s goal on Wednesday at the San Siro. It will be the second time this season, after playing against Milan in the group stage of the Champions League, that the Catalan keeper will start against the Italians away from the Camp Nou. Despite the injuries that the Milan side have, the last one keeping Thiago Silva on the sidelines, Valdés said that “they are very dangerous on dead balls and they’re very good at counterattacks. We need to be alert and keep an eye on unmarked players.” He added that “it’s a very complicated tie. It’s vital that we play our style.”

The Azulgrana keeper recognised that the team “comes into the match on form,” but he reminded the press room that Milan is also enjoying a good string of results.

La Liga

“Both teams are under pressure. Our only option is to win all the games we have left and wait.” Valdés believes that the team needs to stay on form in order to reach the end of the League championship in the best way possible: “when we were 10 points behind we didn’t change, and we won’t change now that we are 6 behind. We must compete against any rival and try to win the three points.” Furthermore, he admitted that he has taken a look at Madrid’s upcoming schedule, but that “if we don’t win our games it won’t matter.” He reminded the journalists that “the six-point distance is considerable, even more so seeing how Madrid is playing. We have to play our games with confidence and peace. The games and time will decide [the winner of the League].”

Confidence in the youngsters

Valdés has complete confidence in the players coming up from the reserve side to the first team. “They’re mature. They prove it in games and in training. Their confidence rubs off on the team and on the manager.”

The keeper said that Afellay, who is close to being match-fit after he sustained a serious ligament injury, is doing well. “He’s recovered nicely. We need him and I’m happy that he’s here.”

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