BARCELONA – FC Barcelona’s head coach Ernesto Valverde paid tribute on Friday to his upcoming La Liga opponent, Espanyol, ahead of the famed Catalan derby.
First-placed and La Liga reigning champion Barcelona is set to be hosted on Saturday by Barça’s cross-town rival, seventh-placed Espanyol, at the RCDE Stadium in Cornella, a suburb of Barcelona.
“It’s an evenly-matched derby, because there is only a small gap between the two teams,” Valverde said in a press conference.
“They are always good at set pieces and press a lot,” Barcelona’s head coach added when discussing his side’s opponent.
Earlier in the day, Valverde and Espanyol coach Joan Francesc Ferrer Sicilia, best known as Rubi, participated in the traditional photo session ahead the derby.