Barcelona boss Quique Setien up for the challenge of Valencia
Quique Setien insists he is ready to pass his latest test as Barcelona manager ahead of his side’s trip to Valencia.
The 61-year-old is poised for his third match in charge of the Spanish giants after overseeing a 1-0 LaLiga win against Granada last weekend, before Antoine Griezmann spared Barca’s blushes with a late strike in a narrow 2-1 Copa Del Rey victory over minnows UD Ibiza.
Setien will now take his team to the Mestalla on Saturday, level on points with rivals Real Madrid at the summit of LaLiga.
Barcelona have struggled away from the Nou Camp this season, dropping points at Athletic Bilbao, Osasuna, Granada, Levante, Real Sociedad and Espanyol.
Meanwhile, Valencia are unbeaten at home in LaLiga this term, conceding just nine times in 10 appearances.
But when asked if Saturday’s match marked his first big test since taking over from the sacked Ernesto Valverde, Setien said on the club’s Twitter: “My first big test was the game against Granada, and the second huge test was against Ibiza.
“I am not expecting any less from this game or the remaining matches.
“The opposition may be one of the top sides that you can face, but you have to pass tests every day. It is going to be a very high-level game, I am sure.”
Valencia are seventh in LaLiga, and will be looking to bounce back from their 4-1 away drubbing at Mallorca last time out.
Setien added: “It is true that when a side like Valencia loses their previous game then their desire to change that is an incentive.
“I am always expecting the best side, and Valencia are definitely a great side with very good players. They will make things very difficult for us.
“Maybe we have the possibility of doing them more damage, but they are also a team that can attack you and I am sure they will do that.”
Valencia boss Albert Celades is set to welcome his former club back to the Mestalla.
The 44-year-old was born in Barcelona before coming through the ranks of the academy and winning two LaLiga titles during his stay at the Nou Camp.
Celades will be without key player Daniel Parejo who is suspended following his sending-off in Mallorca.
“It will be the first game that we cannot count on him, and we must adapt to the alternatives we have,” said Celades.
“Everyone is aware that it is a very important casualty for us. He is a unique player, very good, we are lucky to have him, and everyone knows his importance. We will try to adapt to this new situation.”