BARCELONA — Ernesto Valverde needs Barcelona to beat the drawback of getting performed on Thursday to win at Actual Sociedad in La Liga for the primary time since 2007.
Barca beat Celta Vigo 5-Zero in midweek to progress to the Copa del Rey quarterfinals, the place they are going to play native rivals Espanyol over two legs this month.
In the meantime, La Actual, who have been knocked out of the cup in an earlier spherical, had a free week to organize for the go to of the league leaders.
It makes an already troublesome activity much more troublesome, with Barca having didn’t win in every of their final seven visits to Anoeta within the league, shedding 5 of them.
“Not enjoying in midweek is a bonus for La Actual,” Valverde stated in a information convention on Saturday. “It is the identical story with our sport in opposition to [Real] Betis, who we play within the league subsequent weekend after our midweek sport [against Espanyol in the cup].
“We by no means like these conditions the place there are brief rests and video games coming thick and quick. We wish extra time. However in fact, you like to be within the Copa del Rey than out of it.”
Barca are 9 factors clear on the prime of La Liga and 28 video games unbeaten in all competitions, relationship again to August’s Tremendous Cup loss to Actual Madrid, however their latest document in San Sebastian will not be as spectacular.
They did handle to win there within the Copa del Rey final season, but it surely’s been greater than a decade since they left with three factors from a league sport.
“That is not one thing we have talked about an excessive amount of however we all know what’s gone on in previous matches there,” Valverde added.
“Their coach [former Barca B boss Eusebio] is aware of us very properly. Having been right here earlier than he is aware of learn how to harm Barca and Anoeta is a tricky, moist stadium to play at regardless.
“It’s troublesome for anybody to win there, not simply us. However that is the previous. We wish to write the long run and [Sunday’s] match has not been performed but.”
Barca don’t have any new harm considerations going into the sport, with Samuel Umtiti and Paco Alcacer — each of whom are again in gentle coaching — nonetheless absent.
Ousmane Dembele appeared to finish the midweek win over Celta with a slight knock, however Valverde confirmed he anticipated the French worldwide to be obtainable to face La Actual after coaching on Friday and Saturday.
The wait will go on to see new signings Philippe Coutinho and Yerry Mina, although. The previous has a thigh downside, whereas the latter has solely educated together with his new teammates as soon as having arrived from Brazil on Thursday.
Requested if there could be extra signings in January — or outgoings, with numerous gamers set to observe Arda Turan out the door — Valverde stated the membership are open to any potentialities between now and the tip of the month.
“We will see what occurs between now and the ultimate day of the switch window,” he stated. “Now we have gamers right here… and if somebody leaves we are going to announce it, however I will not discuss now about who would possibly depart or who would possibly are available.”
Samuel Marsden covers Barcelona for ESPN FC. Observe him on Twitter @SamuelMarsden.