It is derby day in midweek as Barcelona take on UE Cornella in the Copa Del Rey Round of 32. Following the loss at the hands of Athletic Bilbao in the Spanish Super Cup final, Barcelona will be hoping to get back on their feet and register a win in the Kings’ Cup as it may be the only competition that the Blaugranas have a shot at.
Ronald Koeman addressed the media as part of his pre-game press conference, dropping hints for the lineup tonight. Expect some debuts!
On the Super Cup loss: “The match against Bilbao proved to us that we still need to improve. We faced two difficult teams in the Super Cup. We let Williams score, and we can’t let that happen again.”
On Messi’s discomfort: “Messi trained normally today.”
On Cornella knocking out Atletico Madrid: “We know that there is always room for upsets in the Copa. It will be a tough fixture. We have to progress, because we are Barça.”
On Messi to Paris Saint-Germain: “If you ask me if I am interested in Neymar or Mbappe, I will say yes. It is the exact same thing. You cannot know what might happen in the future.”
On Roberto’s recovery: “Sergi [Roberto] is training alone. Maybe at the start of the next week, he will join the group.”
On Alex Collado: “He is a player for the future. He can play on the wing and has the skills to be in the first team. He has to be careful with the injuries. We have seen him improving recently. We are always keeping an eye on the B team.”
On Fransisco Trincao: “He came from Braga. He is young – 21 years old. Moving to Barcelona is a huge step for any young player. We should not panic with him. He is on the right track. He has not played a lot but the season is long.”
On Eric Garcia: “I have already said what I have to say. I am not the one who makes the economic decisions at the club. The club’s management has to make the call.”
On Matheus Fernandes: “Matheus is a young player just like the rest. He can search for a team to get some playing time. A player of his age should get minutes.”
On what to expect from the RO32 clash: “Matheus is a young player just like the rest. He can search for a team to get some playing time. A player of his age should get minutes.”
Official: Barcelona confirm Pedri muscular injury
All victories come with a cost and Barcelona’s great triumph over Sevilla is no exception. Sadly, the Catalans’ young prodigy, Pedri, had to leave the pitch in the second half of the clash and now, the club has officially confirmed that the 18-year-old had sustained a muscular injury.
As of right now, however, we still don’t know how serious it is and we’ll have to wait for further information, which is most likely to arrive tomorrow. Unfortunately, the early speculations are not good as it seems Pedri could indeed be out of commission for a couple of weeks at least.
Needless to say, that’s a huge hit for Barcelona since the schedule is unrelenting. Soon, it will be time to face Sevilla again in the Copa del Rey and also Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League. Doing so without Pedri could indeed be troublesome.
But we also have to wonder how did it come to this injury. The 18-year-old is a key member of the squad so it’s understandable Ronald Koeman would want him to play all the time.
However, that might be the very crux of the problem too. With so little rest in-between the games, it was just a matter of time before Pedri’s body could take no more.
Still, not all is lost and he should be back in time to help Barcelona finish the season strong. And besides, now the youngster can finally get some well-deserved rest.
Hopefully the team can manage without him for a short period of time.