【彩神APP破解APP_彩神APP破解APP官网】Valencia to pose stern test of Barca's morale and fitness
MADRID, April 13 (Xinhua) -- FC Barcelona boss, Ernesto Valverde has two main tasks as he prepares for Saturday's Liga Santander game at home to an in-form Valencia.
Barca go into the game with an 11-point lead over Atletico Madrid and perhaps half an eye on the Copa del Rey final against Sevilla the following weekend, but there is no doubt the shadow hanging over the Camp Nou is their shock 3-0 defeat to Roma on Tuesday night which saw them crash out of the Champions League.
The 4-1 lead Barca took to Rome had looked as if it would be more than enough of a cushion, but they produced arguably their worst display of the season, looking flat and tired and the fact they failed to produce a single shot on goal says all anyone needs to know about the performance.
Valverde's task over the past three days has been to recover tired legs and to lift damaged morale to ensure his players don't pay the price for their disappointment in LaLiga.
If Barca avoid defeat on Saturday it would see them set a new domestic record of 39 unbeaten league games, bettering the previous record set by Real Sociedad in 1960 , which they equaled with their win over Leganes a week ago.
Leo Messi scored a hat-trick against Leganes and has 29 league goals so far this season and Barca fans will hope he recovers the spark that was missing on Tuesday.
The other worry is Sergio Busquets, who still looks below par after breaking a bone in his foot. Busquets trained on Thursday and should be OK to start, but if he isn't the adaptable, Sergi Roberto will play in midfield while Nelson Semedo continues at right back.
Whoever plays in midfield will have to deal with Valencia's excellent pairing of Dani Parejo and Geoffrey Kondogbia, who are one of the main reasons Marcelino Garcia Toral's team have won eight and drawn one of their last nine matches.
Valencia are also the only team to have three players who have scored over 10 goals each this season, with Simone Zaza, Santi Mina and Rodrigo Moreno all in double figures.
Spain international Rodrigo is their main threat with 15 goals this season, five of which have come since the beginning of March and his mobility will also pose problems for the Barca defense.
Barca have beaten Valencia three times this season (one in league and twice in the Cup), but two of those three were close fought affairs and Valencia are certainly not the rivals Barca would have chosen as a test of their morale and fitness.