Xavi talks Pedrola, Kessie, Kounde, Araujo ahead of Barcelona vs Valencia

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Xavi talks about being criticized for not dominating with the ball against Madrid, his suspension, recovery updates of injured players, and switching roles of Araujo and Kounde in his pre-match press conference ahead of Barcelona vs Valencia.

Xavi on the game against Valencia:

“We are expecting an opponent who defends well under Rubén Baraja. They have a more organized defense and are intense and quick in transition. We hope to create more chances and be more precise in the attack. We need to shift our focus from the win in the Copa Del Rey. The opponent is coming with urgency, and it will be complicated.”

Xavi on being dominated by Real Madrid:

“There is always noise around Barcelona. You have to know how to manage it from the inside. From the outside, I don’t know but from the inside, our analysis is that Madrid pushed us a lot, and we don’t want that. We were not able to maintain possession, but in big games, the opponent can sometimes dominate you.”

Xavi on being criticized for not dominating against Real Madrid:

“Barcelona are the toughest club in the world. You win 0-1 at the Santiago Bernabeu, and some are not convinced. If Madrid had won it, it would have been a national holiday. In Barcelona, you have to win and maintain 70% possession.”

Xavi on scoring from set pieces:

“We practice free-kicks every day. Today, Ansu, Raphinha, and Alonso scored great goals in training. We need to be successful in the matches as well, but I’m confident about it.”

Xavi on playing Araujo as Right Back:

“Araujo also prefers to play centrally, but there are circumstances and sometimes it’s for the need of the team.”

Xavi on Kounde:

“Koundé? He prefers to play as a center-back, but there are circumstances for the team and he adapts very well. He is a defensive guarantee, an amazing signing for us.”

Xavi on him being suspended:

“I suppose I will be higher up where I can see the game and the spaces better. Not being with the team does not change anything. The only difference is that I won’t be able to be on the bench.”

Xavi on Sergi Roberto’s contract extension:

“It is great news. For me, he is extraordinary. Even though I know they criticize him from the outside, he is a guarantee for us.”

Xavi on Busquets’ continuity:

“I want Busquets to continue. But it will depend on him.”

Xavi on recovery updates of injured players:

Christensen will be ready for tomorrow. Lewandowski has improved and is feeling well. Pedri and Dembele are continuing their own recovery.”

Xavi on Marcos Alonso’s performance:

“His performance has been very good. He has adapted well to the center-back role, and wins aerial duels, and covers those behind him well. He is fast for his height. I’m very happy to have him with us.”

Xavi on Estanis Pedrola:

“Estanis Pedrola is very versatile. He can play on the left or right and is very strong. He has the qualities to be a very important player.”

Xavi on Ansu Fati:

“All forwards have to score. Ansu Fati is fine, and he will be important to the team, I’m sure.”

Xavi on Kessie:

“We are very happy with Kessie because he is giving us a lot. He loses very few balls and works very hard for the team. He has been patient and is now taking advantage of his minutes.”

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