BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Barcelona coach Gerardo Martino will rest regular starters Xavi Hernandez and Alexis Sanchez for Sunday's Spanish league match at Valencia.
Martino says "Xavi and Alexis have played a lot and, according to my criteria, it was time to rest them for a match." Xavi is Barcelona's reference in midfield while Alexis plays on the right side of attack.
Barcelona defender Adriano returns after missing one game because of a muscle problem. Xavi has been called up by Spain coach Vicente del Bosque for its World Cup qualifier against Finland on Friday.