Valverde unhappy with La Liga scheduleMarch 1, 2018
Barcelona boss Ernesto Valverde has discussed the upcoming game against Atletico Madrid, criticising La Liga’s scheduling.
The Catalan giants sit top of the league standings and can extend their lead over Diego Simeone’s side to seven points if they beat Las Palmas on Thursday evening.
Barca travel to Gran Canaria without Jordi Alba, who picked up his fifth yellow card at the weekend, whilst their is growing talk that a number of players could be handed a rest for the visit to Paco Jemez’s side.
Facing Simeone’s side on Sunday afternoon, Valverde has openly criticised the Spanish FA for their scheduling of the games, picking up on the fact Atleti have one-day extra to rest before the Camp Nou clash.
“Our full focus is on our game at Las Palmas, we cannot look beyond that,” Valverde told his pre-match press conference.
“I never like to think about our plan for games on the future, every match in the league is worth three points and thinking about Sunday’s game will not benefit us at all.
“The schedule for us this week is tough and it is against us, there are many questions regarding this but it undoubtedly does not benefit everyone from a sporting point of view.
“We have to play a day later than Atletico do and then we have a long journey back, it is not Atleti’s fault and I’m sure they will point to the Europa League games they have to play.
“However, we are discussing La Liga and the league must be consistent – they should have had Sunday’s match in mind!
“Resting players? It’s a possibility, but I cannot say for sure.”
Barca have been in superb form this season, remaining unbeaten in the opening 25 games under Valverde and looking on course for a treble, having reached the Copa del Rey final and playing well in the Champions League.
Atleti, who are Barca’s closest rivals for the league title, beat Leganes on Wednesday evening thanks to four goals from Antoine Griezmann.
The previous meeting between the two sides this season ended with a 1-1 draw as Luis Suarez cancelled out Saul Niguez opener at the Wanda Metropolitano back in October.