Gerard Pique

Barcelona and Spain Colossus

Ernesto Valverde dismisses long-term injury concern for Samuel Umtiti

Barcelona head coach Ernesto Valverde has dismissed a long-term injury concern for Samuel Umtiti, who recently suffered a discomfort on his left knee. A recent report from Spain suggested that the Catalan giants could be without the Frenchman for a couple of months through injury but Valverde has seemingly dismissed those claims.

Speaking in a news conference, Valverde highlighted that the Frenchman would certainly miss the weekend game against Athletic Bilbao as well as the Champions League meeting at Tottenham Hotspur for which he is suspended but he could make his comeback versus Valencia thereafter, he said: “He has discomfort in his knee and he cannot play on Wednesday anyway. We are going to see for the following game, if we can recover him in time. In principle we think he will be with us again soon.”

Meanwhile, the Blaugrana boss was also asked about Gerard Pique following his blunder in the shock 2-1 defeat at Leganes but he happened to sideline any concern over the drastic dip in form from the Spaniard, he said: “I see that he is very focused on football. Of course we need the points. Any team needs the points but for us even more so, because every team Barcelona loses, there is an earthquake.”

Barcelona are currently just ahead of arch-rivals Real Madrid on goal difference and Valverde will be expecting a strong performance from the team when they entertain Bilbao at the Camp Nou this weekend. Thereafter, they have another testing game against Tottenham Hotspur in the Champions League and the fixture may witness one of Thomas Vermaelen or Clement Lenglet start alongside Pique at the heart of the backline.

The Catalan giants started their Champions League campaign with a rather comfortable 4-0 win at home to PSV Eindhoven but they can expect a tough challenge when they make the trip to the Wembley Stadium to face Spurs. The Blaugrana have fond memories of Spurs’ temporary homeground in the past having won the 2010/2011 Champions League title.

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