It says a football maxim that the stars win finals, derbies and classics, that with a team of only eleven you can win a cup but you need all the template to raise the triplet.
To the Barcelona you have left two months of competition ahead and aspires to the three titles: solo leader of the League, at the end of the Copa del Rey and among the eight best of the Champions
League. But as he learned last season, already with Ernesto Valverde on the bench, he knows that he will not arrive fresh at the key matches in Europe if he does not have the depth of the closet.
The criteria of the cards
Piqué, Rakitic and Arturo Vidal are ready and they would miss Atlético's visit if they see a yellow
That is the dominant theory behind Rome. But not what the body asks Ernesto Valverde, who does not like to play a la carte or select the efforts despite the ten points advantage over Atlético and the mattress of 12 with Madrid. The match at the La Ceramica stadium, between the derby and the visit of Simeone's, second in the standings, and the trip to Old Trafford, would seem the right time to give breaks to a team that also has the slums Gerard Moreno and Fornals. But the coach of Barca does not want to give concessions to their pursuers.
"Morning [por hoy] It is an ideal day to win. Our rivals are waiting for a stumbling block to feed those cravings to reach us. We can not give them that opportunity, "Valverde harangued Peter and the wolf. "The numbers are what they are. There are nine games left and we have to win six to be champions. We still have to row a lot to win the League, "he said.
The coach does not see the league close: "To be champions you have to win six games; we still have to row a lot "
Like everything in Barcelona, the rotations also begin or not with Leo Messi, whose pubalgia the club has been taking care of since Christmas but to which the inconveniences did not prevent him from scoring the two goals against Espanyol. "There is never a suitable scenario to dose a player like Leo. We'll see. I know that people are looking at the Champions League and Atletico's game, which is essential, but the three points against Villarreal are the same as those of Atlético, "reasoned the Blaugrana coach.
Nor would it be advisable for Luis Suárez, after his sprained ankle, to play the entire four games. While the four yellow cards that have Piqué ready, Rakitic and Arturo Vidal could help Valverde not take risks and leave them on the bench to secure their contest on Saturday against Atlético and save them minutes before Old Trafford, for the He still does not know if he will have recovered Dembélé.
However, the coach made it clear that in his order of priorities first goes Villarreal - who squandered a 0-2 on Saturday in Balaídos against Celta - then comes the colchoneros and finally thinks of Manchester United. "Historically, Barça won the Champions League when they won the Champions League. The Champions can betray you in any game that does not focus well or in 15 bad minutes. The League marks you from the first day to the last and the one that tells you how you are each week. For me, the League is fundamental ", he claimed the value of the championship of regularity.
Exactly 60 days are missing for the Champions League final at the Metropolitan Stadium in Madrid. If he arrives as far as possible, the Barça side have 15 games left, one every four days. "With the schedule we have we have to pull the whole team because the matches are very close," they say from the coaching staff. "The seasons are long and there are always a large number of players who carry the weight of the apparitions. It happens in our team and in all. You never know which match is going to be the most important, "said Valverde. Since there are fourteen players who accumulate 20 or more titles. Piqué (41) and Ter Stegen (39) lead the ranking of the most times in the starting line-up. Sergi Roberto (26), Dembélé (25), Arthur (24) and Vidal (20) close the group of the most used. The coach also relies on Umtiti (9), Cillessen (7), Aleñá (7) and Malcom (6 times in the lineup). In total, there are 18 players for two months.
Although Valverde is worried about Villarreal because of his position in the table, seventeenth. "In each league final the teams below draw many points because they play it all on one card. In these games you have to burn all the ships. "