'Valencia is looking really strong' - Barcelona's Pep Guardiola predicts tough Mestalla trip

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Posted Wednesday, September 21, 2011 by YAHOO Sport

'Valencia is looking really strong' - Barcelona's Pep Guardiola predicts tough Mestalla trip

Barcelona head coach Pep Guardiola expects Valencia to give his side a run for its money in Wednesday's La Liga match.

The Mestalla outfit is currently at the summit of the league table, with a perfect nine points from three games, and has kept clean sheets in its last three matches.

Barcelona's spirits are high after Saturday's 8-0 demolition of Osasuna, but Guardiola noted he is not expecting an easy job on Wednesday.

"Valencia is the league leader right now and it is looking really strong," he told reporters at a press conference. "We are going to a tough ground and its fans will be right behind them.

"It also has a great coach who has shown he is capable of taking a team which has lost players like David Villa, David Silva and Juan Mata and making it into a very competitive side, as it is showing at the start of this campaign."

With news of center-back Gerard Pique being left out of the squad named for the game, Barcelona will once again have to field an understrength defence.

"The most important thing is not whether we play with three or four at the back, but rather about finding a balance that allows us to play our attacking game and keep possession and our position on the pitch," Guardiola said. "Against Osasuna we played Alves further forward and it worked okay, but we are more used to playing with a four-man defense.

"Playing with three at the back at the Mestalla might be a bit risky No system is infallible – we will make our decision tomorrow."



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