We are only a few hours away before Barcelona take on Athletic Club at Estadi Olympic, in what could be a critical game for the two teams.
Following Sevilla’s draw with Real Madrid, Barcelona have an excellent opportunity to bridge the gap at the top to just two points.
As we head into this important game, Xavi has a few decisions to make, especially as the Barça coach keeps one eye on the upcoming games against Shakhtar and Real Madrid next week.
Inigo Martinez to start against Athletic Club
According to Mundo Deportivo, everything suggests Inigo Martinez could be set for a start against his former team Athletic Club this evening.
This could amount to an excellent opportunity for the veteran defender to make an impression at Barcelona, especially after enduring a difficult start to his life in Catalonia.
Martinez’s early season progress has indeed been marred by injuries while the centre-back has also struggled with competition from other defensive stalwarts in the team.
As a result, the former Athletic Club star has ended up featuring in less than 100 minutes of league action, which is one of the fewest in the team.
How will Martinez fit into the scheme of things?
Martinez being handed a start against Athletic Club could make a world of sense. The Spaniard is well aware of the opposition, having played for the Basque outfit for multiple years.
But more importantly, Barça have Jules Kounde ruled out due to an injury, whereas Ronald Araujo and Andreas Christensen could use a bit of rest after coming back from a strenuous international break.
Martinez, therefore, is likely to occupy the left-back centre-back slot, where his experience and leadership could go a long way in adding more solidity to the Barça backline.