FC Barcelona head coach Ernesto Valverde was in a confident mood ahead of Wednesday’s clash with PSV. “We will be on top of Group B if we record a win over PSV”, he said at the pre-match conference on Tuesday afternoon. “We know that if we win, we don’t have to look at anyone else. We’re not going to experiment”, said Valverde, who has collected ten points with his side from the opening four UEFA Champions League Group B games.
Valverde was asked about Barca’s hefty injury list. “We will miss seven players due to injuries and have called up some youngsters to the match squad. You get all kinds of fitness issues over a season. We managed to cope with that in our last two Champions League games. Messi has returned to full fitness and we will be looking for a win on Wednesday evening. We know the difference between finishing first and second. The way to finish first is to win.”
Valverde said that Barcelona are wary of the threat posed by PSV. “We respect PSV highly. They put in a solid first-half display at Camp Nou and we only managed to really get going after the break. PSV have gained a maximum 39 points from 13 games in the Dutch league, a formidable achievement. They have a clear idea, quick players and are a recognisable, well-put-together side. When they lost a game, it’s been to a low scoreline.”
Vidal: ‘Want to finish on top of our group’
Valverde was accompanied by midfielder Arturo Vidal, who faced PSV two seasons ago as a FC Bayern Munich player. He told the media that Barca are raring to go. “We know that if we win, we’ll finish top of Group B. My dream is to win the Champions League with FC Barcelona. I know we have conceded quite few goals this season so far and we will do our utmost to improve in that aspect of the game.”