'Everyone is prepared' – Xavi's squad game message after Barcelona beat Elche
Barcelona head coach Xavi believes "everyone is prepared" as he highlighted the importance of squad players after the 3-0 victory over 10-man Elche at Camp Nou.
The three points moved them top of the table ahead of Sunday's Madrid derby, and Xavi believes squad depth will be vital as Barcelona bid to land their first LaLiga title since the 2018-19 campaign.
"We are a broad squad, in which everyone trains well. Everyone is prepared and plugged in when the team needs it, and that's what's important," Xavi said.
"It's an atypical year with a tight schedule. We won't rest for a few weeks, and we need everyone. It's about making a group. Whoever plays, the team is up to the task.
"We have plenty to choose from, many options, and in the end the squads are the ones that win the titles, not the starting 11."
Xavi knows: pic.twitter.com/UAuYxfOXSR— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) September 17, 2022
Two of Barcelona's best performers against LaLiga's bottom side were youngsters Alejandro Balde and Pedri, and Xavi was full of praise for the teenage pair.
"He [Pedri] is one of the best who's come through here. He understands the game, makes a difference with the pass, doesn't lose the ball. We have to take care of him," the 42-year-old Xavi said.
"They [Elche] did a lot of individual marking and Balde can generate superiority inside and out. It is surprising that an 18-year-old boy plays at that level.
"He's in great physical condition, and he's going to give us a lot."