Pinto can replace Valdes

pinLa Liga leaders Barcelona have complete confidence  in keeper Jose Manuel Pinto who will replace Victor Valdes while he recovers from a calf strain, coach Gerardo Martino said on Friday.

Valdes is possibly going to be out of action until the year ending  after suffering the injury during Spain’s surprise defeat by South Africa on Tuesday.

Veteran Pinto has featured little for the club with his performances mainly in King’s Cup games.

“Pinto has done well when he has played and the team has normally won. We have not made any special preparation for the game and Pinto is used to the job he has to do and is prepared,” Martino said ahead of Saturday’s home clash with Granada.

Barcelona have a long list of injured players starting with Lionel Messi who is not sure of his return having suffered series of injuries this season.

Dani Alves, Xavi, Jordi Alba and Cristian Tello are also out but Gerard Pique and Cesc Fabregas   have both been given the all-clear to return.

“I don’t think that we are weaker. It is not what we would have wanted and we are going to have to work hard. We are without the best player (Messi) and the best goalkeeper (Valdes) but I have full belief in those coming in,” added Martino.

“The players coming in have all played and are conditioned to do well for us so there is no reason for worry.”

Adeyemi Adesanya

Sports Business Consultant and Football Intermediary; Risk Management & Due Diligence Consultant; Freelance Football writer & Pundit on Radio & TV and Man.Utd Fan

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