TOP 5 Barca: Betis Preview, Umtiti, Griezmann, Aleix VIdal, Arnaiz

Ernesto Valverde expects tough test against 'valiant' Betis |

Valverde: “Betis like to get the ball into the opposition’s half, and try to dominate possession. So one of the keys to the game will be dealing with the pressure that they create. They are a brave team that likes to keep hold of the ball. They play good, attacking football. Their recent results have been a boost for their morale, especially the win against Sevilla. It’s going to be an interesting, difficult encounter.”

“Umtiti is available for the match against Betis. Coutinho? He is making good progress with his injury. But I am not going to set any dates as deadlines because that would only create unnecessary pressure. When we think he’s ready, he will be picked to play.” More here.

Aleix Vidal ready to return to Sevilla | Marca

Aleix Vidal is ready to return to Sevilla with a permanent transfer close to being agreed.The Andalusian club are set to pay around 8 million euros to give the full-back his second spell at the Estadio Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan.

In addition to the aforementioned fee, Los Cules would also like to receive a further 6m euros in bonus payments; Friday afternoon will see contact between the two clubs continue with an agreement likely to be reached. More here.

Barcelona issue statement to deny secret plot to sign Griezmann in the summer | Goal

Barca have already caused a stir with Atletico over their pursuit of Griezmann, as the Madrid club filed a complaint to FIFA to warn them off in December. And the Catalan side have moved to calm suggestions that they have entered a secret pact with the 26-year-old.

"FC Barcelona denies reports that have appeared in recent hours in various media referring to Atletico Madrid player Antoine Griezmann, alleging links to our club. FC Barcelona expresses discomfort in the face of these events and reiterates its respect for the institution of the Atletico Madrid." More here.

Who should Barcelona sell, loan, keep in January | The Barcelona Podcast

Was the Barcelona board right to loan Arda Turan instead of selling? The former Atletico Madrid star cost a massive €35 million when he joined, so does letting him go for free make any sense at all? We discuss here:

Arnaiz suffers pelvis injury with club unsure of return date | Marca

There are continued struggles for Barcelona's B team with Jose Arnaiz suffering a pelvis injury, one which leaves the club unsure as to when he will return to action.

The Spaniard suffered a dynamic osteopathy of the pubis, more specifically known as Pubalgia. This will certainly keep him out of Sunday's clash with Tenerife and it's difficult to see him returning by the clash with Granada on Saturday. More here.