Barcelona have 'patience' with Luis Suarez - Ernesto Valverde

Luis Suarez
Luis Suarez failed with his four shots against Lyon

Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde has defended striker Luis Suarez after a five-game goalless run.

La Liga's leaders have scored only twice in their past four games, a run which includes Tuesday's 0-0 Champions League last-16 first-leg draw at Lyon.

Suarez, 32, is Barca's fifth all-time top scorer with 168 goals in 231 games going into Saturday's league game at Sevilla (15:15 GMT).

"Luis Suarez guarantees us chances in every game," Valverde said.

The Uruguayan has scored 16 goals this season, including a hat-trick against Real Madrid in October, but has only netted once in the past month.

"It's difficult to do without him," said Valverde.

"Everything is always focused around the big names at certain times. In the case of Luis, it is curious because this same focus has been placed on him before and he has answered by scoring many goals.

"In the last two games he has had clear chances to score. All we need is patience and perseverance, which is what he does. I and everyone else has patience because he is a great player."

Treble-chasing champions Barcelona - who have drawn four of their past five games in all competitions - are still seven points clear at the top of La Liga.