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Sunday, September 2, 2012
Dani Alves, Carles Puyol return from injury

ESPN.com news services

Barcelona defenders Carles Puyol and Dani Alves have recovered from their injuries and will be available to return for the team's La Liga match Sunday against Valencia, the Spanish newspaper Marca reported on its website Sunday.

Puyol fractured his right cheekbone a week ago during Barcelona's 2-1 league victory at Osasuna, while Alves suffered a slight hamstring injury during the same game.

Barcelona has hit the ground running in the new campaign, winning both of its games so far and scoring seven goals in the process.

But that momentum took a blow on Wednesday when the Blaugrana were edged out 4-4 on away goals in the two-legged Supercopa by Real Madrid.

Despite that disappointment, Barcelona coach Tito Villanova said: "The squad has responded well. We all know that we have just started. We now have an important game at home, and we should try to go into this break with nine points."

The coach is aware that Valencia will provide a stern test, however.

"This is a team that will create danger in the space with their speed," he said. "They are also a very dangerous from set-pieces."

New signing Alex Song could make his debut in midfield following his recent move from Arsenal.

Valencia, who is still awaiting its first league win after back-to-back draws, begin life without winger Pablo Hernandez, who completed a move to Premier League side Swansea Friday.

Coach Manuel Pellegrino should however be able to call upon Fernando Gago and Jeremy Mathieu, who have both recovered from knocks for the trip to Barca.

Information from Press Association was used in this report.




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