Valencia vs Barcelona - Barca boss Valverde denies falling out with Vidal

Posted Sunday, October 07, 2018 by PA

Valencia vs Barcelona - Barca boss Valverde denies falling out with Vidal

Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde has played down suggestions of a rift with midfielder Arturo Vidal ahead of Sunday’s trip to Valencia.

Barca enjoyed a 4-2 Champions League win over Tottenham in midweek, a much-needed result after three games without a win.

But rather than celebrate, Vidal posted an angry emoji, since deleted, on his Instagram account – with suggestions that an appearance as an 87th-minute substitute has added to his frustration at a lack of playing time with the LaLiga champions.

But Valverde brushed off the post and said he was not aware of an issue with the midfielder.

“I do not know what the players put on their social networks, but he has not told me anything,” Valverde said. “I do not know if he is angry about the game or a domestic incident.”

Of Vidal’s nine appearances for Barca since joining from Bayern Munich, seven have come as a substitute, with four in the final few minutes, and Arthur was preferred to him against Tottenham.

“He has different characteristics, it’s very specific,” Valverde said on what Arthur brings to the team. “He gives us possession and control of the game.

“I’m not going to comment on tomorrow’s eleven.”

Luis Suarez completed 90 minutes at Wembley, but has been suffering with a minor knee complaint since and Valverde admitted he does not know if the Uruguay forward will be fit to face Valencia.

“It is expected that he will train today,” he said. “Yesterday he did not because it was a recovery day, so we will see.”

Valencia have had an indifferent start to the season, winning only one and drawing five of their opening seven games to sit well down the table, but Valverde is reading little in to that.

“We know their identity very well,” he said. “Though they have not started like last season, they are in the Champions League for a reason.

“They are one of the big names in the league with a strong 4-4-2 shape which is difficult to break down.”

Marcelino has never beaten Barcelona, but, although the form book may be against him, the Valencia coach said the goal was clear on home turf.

“I always want to win the next match,” he said. “It’s an important match between two big teams and winning against Barcelona would be an important step for us.

“I think we are going to need the fans’ support, but the players are already motivated by the important of the match.

“We’re expecting the same Barca we saw against Tottenham. That’s what we have in mind.”

As Marcelino attempts to work out how to slow Barcelona’s attack, he has been boosted by the return to fitness of Spain left-back Jose Luis Gaya, who could feature on Sunday.

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