Tito Vilanova says Barcelona will not underestimate Alaves in Tuesday evening’s Copa del Rey round of 32 first leg at the Mendizorroza.
The Catalans will be without the likes of Victor Valdes, Jordi Alba, Pedro, Xavi and Lionel Messi, who are all rested, but Vilanova has made it clear they will not be taking the game lightly.
“We have to give this fixture the importance it deserves. I’m going to approach this cup tie with the most competitive team possible to get a good result,” Vilanova said.
“I don’t see this as an opportunity to give players that haven’t had a lot of playing time more minutes on pitch. However, it is true that we have quite a few players who are recovering from injuries.
“I know their coach very well and I know how he works. Alaves have only conceded four goals in their last 10 matches. This means their defence is well worked and organised.”
Barcelona head into the match in excellent form, having won eight and drawn one of their opening nine games to the La Liga season.