Ernesto Valverde thinks an extra day’s rest afforded to Chelsea can be a crucial factor in the cup tie.
Valverde and his team will play Eibar ahead of a crucial round of 16 fixture against Chelsea. The Blues have an extra day to rest ahead of the tie, which will be a big advantage according to the Spanish coach. While Barcelona will play their Liga fixture today, Conte saw his team thrash Hull City 4-0 yesterday.
Ernesto Valverde feels the extra day’s rest Chelsea boast may be a crucial factor in deciding the fate of the tie.
Conte rested many of his team’s big names keeping an eye on the Champions League meeting with the Blaugrana. Valverde however, has lamented the timing of Eibar game, as he feels the Londoners will have more time recuperate than this team. The 54-year-old highlighted the fact why Chelsea have an advantage over his team.
Valverde complaints about fixture congestion
The former Athletic Bilbao tactician spoke to the press ahead of his team’s match with Eibar. While Conte rested many key players like Eden Hazard and Thibaut Courtois, Valverde can’t afford to do the same. Philippe Coutinho will certainly start the Liga fixture as he remains cup-tied for the Champions League match against Chelsea.
Valverde said,”That (extra) day is enough of a difference in terms of recovering physically. I would have liked to play against Eibar on Friday, too, to have an extra day before the game against Chelsea.”
Chelsea thumped Hull City by a margin of four goals despite missing many big names. Valverde however, remained adamant that Eibar cannot be taken lightly. He said,”The Eibar game is an important one as well. The only game we’re thinking about right now is that one. We’re not thinking about Tuesday’s game.”
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Barcelona currently boasts a seven-point lead over second-placed Atletico Madrid. They will travel to London on Monday having lesser time to prepare for the crucial last 16 tie.
A manager’s life is not fair. He has to deal with fixture congestion many times over the course of his career. Valverde however, can choose to rest star players like Luis Suarez and Andres Iniesta knowing that he has able replacements in Messi and Coutinho.