“We know these two players are one card away, but it is not a time for players to rest because of cards or freshness,” Koeman said.

The best thing is to field a team that Koeman thinks can win

Barcelona boss Ronald Koeman spoke to the press ahead of the Barcelona clash on Monday night against Real Valladolid. With El Clasico coming up next week, there is concern that Lionel Messi and Frenkie de Jong are a booking away from a break that will exclude them against Real Madrid. However, Koeman insists that he will not rest them; as a result, on Monday is the most important thing. “We know these two players are one card away, but it is not a time for players to rest because of cards or freshness,” he said. “We have ten games left. There is always a risk, but the best thing is to field a team that I think can win.” While the home tie against 16th placed Valladolid looks simple on paper, Koeman admits that these games can always be tricky.

“You have to be ready. You cannot think that it will be an easy game just because of their injuries,” he said. “We have to walk with a lot of energy and rhythm and be good with the ball. We have to get back to our level. It can be a game without problems, but you always have to work hard to win”. Gerard Pique and Sergi Roberto close on their return. “They are training with the team lately. They have improved a lot,” the Dutchman said. “These are the decisions we will make tomorrow after the last training session. We’re not going to risk it next week because there will be more games this season”. Koeman had a recent meeting with a new president, Joan Laporta. “Everyone, including the president, is working to improve the team knowing the club’s economic situation, which is not the best,” he said.