Barcelona ace, Lionel Messi is still recovering from injury and boss Ernesto Valverde insists on not risking his fitness during the game against Athletic Club.
Valverde, 55, has claimed, however, that his captain’s recovery process is on the right track.
“We are not going to take risks and less so with Leo,” Valverde told the press.
“He hasn’t trained yet with the team.
“We will wait, but he is following a fairly good recovery process.”
Valverde went on to warn against complacency in the Blaugrana’s 2019/20 LaLiga Santander season opener against his former club.
“It’s a complicated game to start [with],” Valverde added.
“They have had a good pre-season, and play with a lot of high pressure [on the pitch] and we have to be careful.
“We want to start off on a good note and win our third consecutive LaLiga Santander title.”
The former Athletic Club coach also discussed his return to the San Mames, pointing out the difficulties he faces when playing in such a tense atmosphere.
“[When] I return at San Mames, I always find it difficult to play and I prefer it to happen as soon as possible,” Valverde noted.
“I know what they do when they play at home. The pressing that they give you [on the pitch] and the one coming from the crowd.”