MX23RW : Friday, December 14 10:44:36

Ernesto Valverde: 'Barcelona do not need to alter tactics'

Valverde: 'Barca don't need to alter tactics'
© SilverHub
Ernesto Valverde says that "things are going to be very similar" in terms of tactics, despite the arrival of Philippe Coutinho and the return of Ousmane Dembele.

Barcelona manager Ernesto Valverde has insisted that he does not have to change formation to accommodate club-record signing Philippe Coutinho.

The Brazilian playmaker must wait to make his debut for the Catalan giants, having been ruled out until early February with a minor injury following his £142m arrival from Liverpool.

Valverde now has some time to consider how he will shoehorn Coutinho into his side, while previous record purchase Ousmane Dembele is also back in contention after a three-month layoff, and the Spanish coach does not expect to tinker with his tactics.

"Coutinho can't play yet, Dembele can play on both sides, but regardless of small changes things are going to be very similar," he told reporters.

"Coutinho is a player we think can help us. Each player is different and brings something new. He scores, he can shoot. He can play inside or outside and we hope he can contribute and help us to be better.

"It's a coach's job to speak about his team. We're competitive, in three competitions, at the greatest club in the world. We're always trying to win and make our fans happy. We think our players are the best, that's the way it is."

Barca return to action on Thursday evening with a Copa del Rey last-16 tie against Celta Vigo, with the score locked at 1-1 following last week's first leg at Balaidos.


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Roberto Firmino celebrates scoring with Philippe Coutinho during the Premier League game between West Bromwich Albion and Liverpool on April 16, 2017
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Firmino: 'Liverpool not same without Coutinho'
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Barcelona1594241192231
2Sevilla1584327161128
3Atletico MadridAtletico1577121101128
4Real Madrid158252319426
5AlavesAlaves157351817124
6Levante156452725222
7Real Betis156451617-122
8Getafe155641612421
9GironaGirona155641717021
10Espanyol156361720-321
11Celta Vigo155552824420
12Real Valladolid155551315-220
13Real Sociedad155461818019
14EibarEibar155461923-419
15Valencia153931212018
16Leganes154561519-417
17Villarreal153571519-414
18Athletic Bilbao152851523-814
19Rayo Vallecano152491530-1510
20Huesca1514101230-187

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