Champions League

Valverde: Barca must respond with a win

2019-11-05 11:31
Ernesto Valverde
Ernesto Valverde (AP)

Cape Town - Barcelona boss Ernesto Valverde is eager to see his charges respond positively to their surprise defeat to Levante by beating Slavia Prague.

Barca know victory over the Czech champions on Tuesday evening will be a major step towards the knockout stages of the Champions League.

The in-form La Liga leaders have been flying in recent weeks but were brought back down to earth at the weekend with a surprise 3-1 loss at Levante.

Every defeat for the Catalan club brings increased scrutiny on manager Valverde and he is eager for an immediate return to winning ways to stave off pressure.

"We were on a very good run, it seems that defeats always seem to come at the worst times," Valverde told Barca's website.

"But things happen very quickly in football and we've got a chance to turn things around very quickly - let's hope we can do that.

"It's a very important game. After a defeat, there is always criticism, we need to put that behind us."

Barcelona, whose cause will not helped by the absence of injured forward Luis Suarez, sit top of Group F and will move on to 10 points from four matches with victory over Slavia at the Nou Camp.

Depending on the result of Borussia Dortmund's meeting with Inter Milan in Germany, that could be sufficient to all but guarantee Barca a place in the last 16.

The Catalan club laboured to a 2-1 success in Prague less than a fortnight ago and returned to Spain indebted to goalkeeper Marc-Andre Ter Stegen following a string of fine saves.

Valverde believes Slavia, who are bottom of the group with a single point but have an 11-point lead at the top of the Czech league, can approach the game with little pressure.

- TeamTalk Media


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