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"Another tough draw but we’re confident we’ll go through"

The Athletic Club manager rates Gary Neville’s Los Che but reckons his Lions will edge them in the physical stakes over two legs: "We’re capable of running them ragged".

Ernesto Valverde

The draw: “The draw has once again been cruel to us. We keep getting pitted against good sides in the Copa del Rey and the Europa League. The second leg will be at Mestalla, where we’ll be travelling to on Sunday in the league. It’s a tricky tie. Valencia have found a rich vein of form. They’ve won their last four games on the spin; they have great players and on paper play attractive football. We’d have liked to have faced another team, and I’m sure they feel the same, but we’re confident we’ll go through”.

Second leg away from home: “I don’t think playing at home is as advantageous as it used to be. Playing at home gives you a little bit of an edge but it’s not that significant”.

Fatigue: “Both sides know each other very well. It’s not like a fixture against Barcelona because we won’t have to make radical changes to our playing style. Valencia are a top side but the challenge for both teams in this tie boils down to being able to control the tempo over two legs because we both have a grueling fixture lists to deal with. It will be a physically testing encounter, although not on the same level as a match against Barcelona. And we’re capable of running them ragged as well”.