Valverde insists Barca being Champions League favourites means nothing

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San Juan Despi (Spain), April 3 (IANS) Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde warned on Tuesday that his team being considered the favourites to win the Champions League would not actually help them win any matches.

According to Valverde, Wednesday’s first-leg quarter-final against Roma at the Camp Nou was not likely to decide who would be eliminated in the quarters, as the Italian side had a strong attack and close-knit defence, reports Efe.

“Favourites can change in the first seconds on the pitch. We need an extraordinary match in order to win,” he cautioned at a press conference.

The coach may be able to count on injured star players Leonel Messi and Sergio Busquets, the former having participated in part of the team training on Monday despite not yet getting the all-clear from doctors after a foot fracture.

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Busquets, burdened with muscle discomfort, managed 30 minutes on the pitch against Sevilla on Saturday for a La Liga tie that ended 1-1.

“Messi is doing better, so let’s see how he finishes training,” said Valverde, hinting that if he made it onto the list, he would definitely be playing.

–IANS

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