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Barcelona coach Valverde calm after Getafe stalemate

12 February 2018

Yerry Mina, who came off the bench against Valencia, is in line to make his full debut against Getafe regardless of Pique's fitness, with Valverde saying the Colombia worldwide would be ready if called upon.

It was a factor in a stuttering start from LaLiga's leader, although Mina's playmaking capabilities from deep appeared attuned to Barca's famed style.

Valencia move up to third on 43 points, a point ahead of Real Madrid having played a game more than the title holders. Iniesta and Messi have played together for many years, and Coutinho needs time to adapt to the way Barca play, which is probably why he was signed in January with La Liga all but sewn up. However, a 2-0 midweek win over Valencia sealed their place in the Copa del Rey final.

"He has the quality to help us".

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It is certainly a bonus.

Barca have gone 29 La Liga games without a defeat (winning 25 of those), two behind their longest unbeaten run in the competition, achieved under Pep Guardiola in a streak ending in April 2011 (31).

Sevilla's victor came within seconds of the restart when Joaquin Correa raced onto Clement Lenglet's through ball and touched it past Girona goalkeeper Bono as Pablo Sarabia bundled home Bernando Espinosa's attempts to clear off the goal-line - with Rojiblancos' goalscorer remaining unclear. He made his comeback as a substitute in this match, replacing Paco Alcacer on the right wing with just under half an hour left.

"I think Coutinho's looking good", he said.

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"We have high hopes for him, and we need to be careful", the Barcelona coach told the club's official website. "He can give us things, especially in this phase of the season". So Valverde will hope Dembele can steer clear of injury now.

Arguably the most encouraging element of Barcelona's performance was a classy full-debut from Yerry Mina at centre-back, made all the more impressive by left-back Lucas Digne being played out of position alongside the Colombia global at the heart of defence.

Midfielder Andre Gomes returned from a gastric virus in the second-leg win over Valencia but he lasted just 45 minutes before being substituted while Ousmane Dembele remains out with a muscle injury.

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Barcelona coach Valverde calm after Getafe stalemate