Juan Carlos Unzue spent the last three years in the home team’s dugout at Camp Nou but will be on the visiting bench on Saturday when his Celta Vigo team travel to Barcelona.
In each of the last three seasons, Celta have beaten Barca — albeit only once at Camp Nou — and it is something which Valverde says has been prevalent in his thoughts this week.
“Of course we consider [recent] results against them,” he told a news conference when asked if Celta’s bête noire status was something which worried him.
“They have had good results against Barca in recent seasons — we know all about the previous games. They don’t tell us everything, but they do show that you have to be careful.”
But it is the presence of Unzue, the former goalkeeper who was a teammate of Valverde’s at Barca in the late 1980s, and his knowledge of the club which the former Athletic Bilbao coach cites as a particular concern.
“Unzue was at Barca for many years and knows the club inside out,” he added. “Celta have a way of playing where they like to dominate the play and I am sure they will do same on Saturday, which is something we have to worry about.
“I think it’s dangerous that [Unzue] knows Barca so well. I was the coach at Athletic before and when you play against Barca you need to approach things differently.
“In that sense, the internal knowledge Unzue has can be a big bonus for him and it will make it harder for us. He is a very studious coach, he picks up on lots of little things and he’s a dangerous coach to play against.”
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