International

Neville to cast eye over Valencia against Barcelona

2015-12-04 12:45
Gary Neville (AFP)

Madrid - New Valencia coach Gary Neville will be a mere spectator as his side face the daunting task of halting European champions Barcelona's free-scoring form on Saturday.

Neville doesn't officially take charge at the Mestalla until Sunday leaving the caretaker team of his brother Phil and Voro in control this weekend.

"Wednesday was the announcement and Thursday was the first day I was able to come over so it wasn't fair for me to come in and do sessions just before such a big match," Neville explained as he was unveiled on Thursday.

Despite the difficulty of the task, Valencia's need for points is the greater as they lie ninth in the table, five points off their target of a top-four finish.

By contrast, Barcelona have surged four points clear of Atletico Madrid at the top of the table with Real Madrid a further two points back.

Wednesday's 6-1 thrashing of Villanovense in the Copa del Rey took the Catalans tally to 26 goals in their last six games.

And with Real Madrid facing expulsion from the Cup for fielding an ineligible lineup against Cadiz in Wednesday, talk in Barcelona has already turned to whether Luis Enrique's men can make history by repeating the treble of La Liga, Cup and Champions League they won last season.

"The fans and the technical staff are happy because we should enjoy this moment," said Barca striker Luis Suarez on Thursday.

"We want to leave our mark on the history of football.

"We have a good advantage (in the league) and we want to make the most of it, but we can never get complacent against anyone."

Enrique has the luxury of recalling Suarez, Neymar and Lionel Messi after all three were handed a rest against Villanovense as they look to build on their tally of 125 goals in 2015.

 

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