Ernesto Valverde refuses to guarantee a starting spot for Philippe Coutinho
Barcelona manager Ernesto Val verde has suggested that a starting spot for Philippe Coutinho is far from guarantee dafter his recent comeback from a hamstring injury. The Brazil international has missed the previous two league games with a muscular problem but he has recently been fancied to return to the starting XI against PSV Eindhoven in the Champions League.
However, speaking in a press conference,Valverde indicated that Coutinho’s position in the starting lineup may not be certain on Wednesday night with Ousmane Dembele impressing off the bench with a key equaliser against Atletico Madrid last weekend, he said: “We’ll see about that. Ousmane has been playing regularly, so there’s no reason why that definitely will be the case. We hope that the goal against Atletico helped Dembele.
“A goal gives confidence to any player and I have the feeling Dembele will always try to do his best when he comes out.Dembele is a player who has been playing regularly, from the bench or the start, and he has quality. When he comes off the bench he can change a game and that’s a quality that is undervalued in football. Not everybody has that quality.”
Blaugrana have endured a mixed run during the current league campaign and they have already succumbed to a couple of defeats unlike the previous season. Owing to this, they have not been able to hold on to the top position in the standings and they are currently one point behind Se villa after the first 13 matches of the season.
Meanwhile, the Catalan giants have experienced a contrasting fortune in the Champions League and they are currently top of their group with a three-point advantage over Inter Milan. They are scheduled to face PSV Eindhoven in the competition on Wednesday night and a victory would ensure them progress into the knockouts with the top position assured.