The Barça coach Ernesto Valverde admitted in his pre-game press conference ahead of his team league debut at home to Betis that he expected a positive and “brave” opponent under their new coach Quique Setién. “Betis will want the ball and they will try and put us under pressure high up the field. The team who can avoid that pressure will have space to create chances. Betis won’t be a team who sit back, they will be courageous as we have seen in preseason,” admitted the blaugrana boss.

For Valverde, the priority is “to play well and win and look for that balance between attack and defence.” On the state of his squad, the coach continued: “Iniesta won’t train today and Piqué will train and after that we will see if he can be considered. Luis Suárez’s missing is an important absence for us but we have players who can come in and do the job.”

The new blaugrana coach also touched upon last Thursday’s attacks in the city: “They are very unfortunate circumstances and from our club we give our full support to the victims. It was a very tough day for everyone and it gives you reasons to think.”

Finally, Valverde touched on the figure of Leo Messi. “He is the best in the world, that’s the luck that we have. But all of us have to help him. We have to find a way of playing that allows him to shine and his team mates too,” concluded the Barça coach. 

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