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Barça coach warns of La Liga opponent Betis, justifies exclusion of Dembele

IANS  |  Barcelona 

FC Barcelona's coach, Ernesto Valverde, on Saturday warned that would not be an easy opponent in their upcoming match, while he defended his decision to exclude forward from the squad.

defending champion Barça, which leads the standings with 24 points, is set to host 14th-placed Betis on Sunday, reports

"It's an important game against a team that tries to keep you from playing your game," the Spanish said at a press conference.

"We both want to control possession," Valverde added.

The justified his decision to leave Dembele out of the squad, insisting that he tries to do the best for his team and club.

Valverde pointed out that sometimes some players are called up, while sometimes others are excluded from the squad and the absence of Dembele was not a punishment.

Dembele was absent from training on Thursday, while the forward exercised apart from the group on Friday.

Although the stressed that Dembele has "incredible talent" and is "a great player," Valverde did not want to give details about this absence because it was "an internal issue."

Valverde said he was delighted with the return of both and Samuel Umtiti, who got his medical discharge on Saturday after missing several matches in the and due to



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First Published: Sat, November 10 2018. 20:06 IST