December 12, 2013
Martino rests Xavi and Alexis for Valencia clash
Barcelona coach Gerardo Martino has left Spain playmaker Xavi and Chile forward Alexis Sanchez out of his squad for Sunday's La Liga match at Valencia.
Argentine Martino, who took over from the ailing Tito Vilanova last month, told a news conference on Saturday it was their turn to have a rest after their exertions in Wednesday's Spanish Super Cup triumph against Atletico Madrid.
Barca's World Player of the Year Lionel Messi, who missed last weekend's 1-0 La Liga win at Malaga with a bruised thigh, came through a full training session on Saturday, while fullback Adriano has been given the all-clear by medical staff, the club said on their website.