The Catalan derby kicks off in just over a few hours, with Barcelona facing Girona at the Camp Nou. Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde is cautious of their Catalan neighbours. He believes this weekend marks a moment in the season when “the points count for more.”
The Whites and Reds are sitting in ninth place in the table, only a few places away from possible European football next season. Valverde said,
“Girona is a team with a bit of a spark, they always attack and get in your face and they don’t sit back.
“It’s a derby and they are having a terrific season. They are a newly promoted side and are without doubt the surprise package of the league.
“They have a very clear way of playing and you can recognise that. They have excellent players on the counter like Stuani and Portu who are both in great form.
“Their system is a bit special, a little like that of Chelsea. They have caught my attention and there are a lot of teams who have to adapt to try and stop what they do.”
The full squad for the match has now been named. It reads as follows: Ter Stegen, Semedo, Piqué, Rakitic, Sergio Busquets, Iniesta, Luis Suárez, Messi, Dembelé, Cillessen, Coutinho, Paulinho, Jordi Alba, Digne, Sergi Roberto, Aleix Vidal, Umtiti, and Vermalen.
This means that Yerry Mina, Paco Alcácer, Denis Suárez and André Gomes have no spot in the team today, but there are plenty of other opportunities this week as there are three La Liga games this week. Barcelona faces Girona today, on Thursday travel to face Las Palmas and are back at Camp Nou next Sunday for a clash against Atlético Madrid.
Check out our full Barcelona v. Girona match preview