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Xavi talks Dembele, Lewandowski, Araujo, Fati, Garnacho ahead of Almeria vs Barcelona



Photo by PAU BARRENA/AFP via Getty Images

Barcelona will take the trip to Southeast Spain as they take on Almeria for the next La Liga gameweek. They are already eight points clear at the top of the table (at the time of writing), even though that gap hinges on Real Madrid’s game against Atletico Madrid today.

The Catalans are coming off a disheartening 2-1 loss vs Manchester United at the Old Trafford that knocked them out of the Europa League. However, any loss of momentum at this stage in the campaign could serious hurt their domestic treble ambitions.

Ahead of the game, Xavi took to the press as part of his pre-match media conference.

On Almeria: “In their stadium, they have lost only a few games. It will be a difficult away match.”

On El Clasico on Thursday: “Our focus is on tomorrow’s match. Then we will think about Thursday.”

On Ousmane Dembele: “He is fine, yesterday he trained well. He looks fine, but is not 100% ready yet. He’s about to be back with the team. It depends on his recovery. We trust his instincts, he’s fine and that’s important.”

On the league: “When you win the league with a big club like Barcelona, it is a good season. We are now counting on ourselves and we have important matches. If we win the double, it will be a great season.”

On Ronald Araujo: “He is 100% ready.”

On Ansu Fati: “We hope that Fati will be ready for El Clasico on Thursday.”

On squad depth: “We have competitive players this season. But we always have to strengthen the team.”

On Robert Lewandowski: “I did not speak to anyone individually. I spoke to the group, we have to be proud of the way we compete. I think we were in a good position against a good team like Manchester United, but things like that can happen. We are now thinking positively about Almeria.”

“He understands that this is a medium/long-term project. He is aware of his whereabouts. We have made a change from last year to now. At the moment, we only have one title – the Super Cup —, but we want more.”

On the Europa League exit: “We will work so that it does not impact us. We have to understand that we are in a good position in La Liga and we are going through a positive momentum.”

On Joan Laporta: “Laporta’s message is to continue the progress. The biggest disappointment this season was the exit from the Champions League. Exiting the Europa League is also painful, because it always hurts a team like Barcelona to lose any titles.”

On the Madrid derby: “It does not depend on us, and we have to focus on tomorrow 100% despite what is happening today. We will be on our way to Almeria at the time of the derby and we will watch it.”

On Ferran Torres: “Ferran gained confidence in the last few matches. He will be an important player for us, we are happy that he gained this confidence that he needed to make the difference. The Cadiz game was one of his best matches.”

On Sergio Busquets’ performance vs Man United: “I think he played a perfect match in the first half like the rest of the team. In the second half, we suffered more. We did not have the control we wanted, and Busquets suffered like the rest of the team. We faced a side that was quick in transitions.”

On Sergi Roberto: “Roberto can handle anything. He played a good game against United, especially the first half. A player who can play as a full-back, midfielder, or winger.”

On Garnacho and Vinicius’ celebrations: “It’s hard to answer. I think when a player is happy, he shows all kinds of anger and grievances towards you. Each player expresses it as it happen. There is a little empathy missing. I think you should celebrate with your teammates and not celebrate to provocate others”

Source: BarçaTV+

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