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Koeman is expected to rotate against Getafe: What are his options?

Domagoj Kostanjšak

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Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images

This weekend, Barcelona will finally return to action and changes are in sight. According to the latest reports from Alfredo Martínez, Ronald Koeman is expected to rotate against Getafe. But what are his options on the bench and who could get a big chance on Saturday?


It goes without saying that a clash against such strong opposition away from home won’t be easy. Barcelona have already dropped points once in the opening couple of games so they have to be at their best. However, despite there being no club football during the break, some of the players are undoubtedly fatigued due to international responsibilities.

READ: Jordi Alba is expected to return for El Clásico

Lionel Messi, for instance, has played two full matches with Argentina, including an exhausting clash against Bolivia at the Hernando Siles stadium. For that reason, Koeman is expected to rotate against Getafe. So let’s see what are his options in the first place.

The backline

This is likely the area where there’ll be the least changes. Of course, with Jordi Alba injured and Junior Firpo also not training with the squad, Sergiño Dest should be starting on that left-back position. But apart from that, it’s likely we see familiar faces across the rest of the backline.

Clément Lenglet and Gerard Piqué should both be given starts in the heart of the defence while Sergi Roberto is essentially the only option for the right-back spot. With Marc-André ter Stegen still recovering, expect to see Neto between the sticks too.

The midfield

There’s only ever place for just two real midfielders on the pitch in Koeman’s 4-2-3-1 system. Sergio Busquets and Frenkie de Jong have been the chosen ones so far and that’s unlikely to change. Miralem Pjanić could be a real option to give Busi a bit of rest but that is certainly still under a question mark.

READ: The Barça dressing room admires Koeman’s way of ‘doing things’

As we now know, the Bosnian had to be subbed off in his latest national team match and is said to still be feeling some pain in his shoulder. This, of course, could be problematic for Barcelona. Of course, there are still options like Riqui Puig, Carles Aleñá or even Pedri but so far, the double pivot position has been taken by other players.

Attack

This is undoubtedly the most interesting area for Koeman if he is indeed to make any changes. So far, we’ve seen the trio of Messi, Antoine Griezmann and Ansu Fati chosen to start. However, as we’ve already mentioned, maybe resting the Argentine could be a good idea.

Griezmann, despite scoring a brilliant goal against Croatia the other day, hasn’t been performing well for Barcelona. This is an area where the coach can get creative. The likes of Francisco Trincão, Pedri and of course, Ousmane Dembélé would love to get a shot in the team.

It is also possible to give Fati a rest but he’s been in blistering form and taking him off might be too detrimental for the squad. But Koeman certainly has options and if he really wants to spice things up, there’s always Martin Braithwaite on the bench as well.

As things currently stand, the Dane is Barça’s only out-and-out striker in the team.

I’ve been a Barcelona fan for more than half of my life. What started as blind love is slowly turning into professional writing. Now, I get to write about Barca, analyse them, and voice my opinions on them across platforms. I’m happy to be a part of this big project.

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Opinions

Philippe Coutinho is having his best time under Koeman

Domagoj Kostanjšak

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Photo by Alex Caparros/Getty Images

Upon arrival, Philippe Coutinho was one of the most exciting newcomers at Barcelona. However, that excitement quickly turned into disappointment and failure. The Catalans’ biggest signing in the history of the club was a flop.

But fast forward a bit into the future and after the Bayern Munich loan and Coutinho is a man reborn. Now, he is enjoying his best time under Ronald Koeman. In fact, the Brazilian has been directly involved in a goal – assist or goal – for four games in a row as a starter.

That means that whenever he’s been given a chance shine, he took it with both hands. A lot of that has to do with the position he now occupies. Being in the no.10 role just behind the striker as opposed to the left wing is a major difference between then and now. And it’s showing already.

He gave an assist in Barça’s first two league games against Villarreal and Celta Vigo respectively, then scored against Sevilla and did the same the other day against Ferencváros. The only time he failed to have a significant impact was against Getafe. But then again, he had to come off the bench late in the game in that one.

Either way, he’s playing with confidence and intent once again and that’s a wonderful thing for both him and the club.

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