Ronald Koeman is slowly but surely putting his blueprint in Catalonia and it seems the new manager will use the 4-2-3-1 formation at Barcelona.
Big changes are on the horizon at the Camp Nou. The Dutchman has well and truly arrived and we are eagerly awaiting his first clash in charge. However, if the recent reports are to be believed, we might see the Azulgranas in an entirely different outlook.
Koeman has decided the team is versatile enough for him to deploy the new 4-2-3-1 formation at Barcelona. Of course, this is something of a preferred system of the new gaffer.
We’ve seen him utilise it before and he may very well do it again in Catalonia. SPORT have even gone as far as to show us what that might look like on the pitch.
There are a couple of interesting points here in the graphic above. Firstly, Sergi Roberto, who has impressed in training, seems to be the preferred right-back choice.
Then, Frenkie de Jong and Miralem Pjanić in a double-pivot and just behind the incredible strike force. Ousmane Dembélé, Antoine Griezmann and Lionel Messi will be deployed just behind the striker, who is yet to be decided.
At the moment, and if Barcelona don’t sign anyone else, it could very well be Ansu Fati. Recent reports have already suggested that the youngster could potentially be transformed into a ‘number 9‘ and that’s still a possibility.
The money is scarce and if Barça can’t buy anyone, they will have to find the solutions from within. Still, moving away from the personnel, the change in formation will also allow Barcelona more attacking freedom and physicality.
But needless to say, it will be a huge change from their traditional 4-3-3. The last time they played in a 4-2-3-1 regularly was back with Bobby Robson in 1996/97.
And that was a really long time ago…
‘I am looking forward to this match’ – Pjanić talks ahead of his Juventus return
Tonight, Juventus will host Barcelona in Turin for the second matchday of the Champions League group stages. With both teams having won their first clash in Europe, they are looking to take control of the table by beating their biggest rival.
For Miralem Pjanić, however, this will be more than a big clash. After all, he will potentially face his former team should Ronald Koeman choose to give him a shot. Needless to say, he is excited about it, as he told the press ahead of the clash.
“I am looking forward to this match with a lot of enthusiasm, for all the people I know and I appreciate here at Juventus, but now I am a Barça player.”
The Bosnian midfielder has mostly been among the substitutes but he is ready to give his all, both in training and in games. Of course, with the coach mostly electing to field two midfielders, it was tough to get a spot in the gala XI.
“I’m at a big club and it’s normal that there is competition. We can also play three in the midfield, but that depends on the coach. All I can do is train hard.”
“It’s a new system and I have to adapt to it. I’ve also changed leagues, it’s a new country. I’ll do my best to help my team, like I did at Juve.”
Of course, Barcelona’s start to the season was rocky, to say the least. However, the campaign is long and the team is improving.
“The team has the quality to be successful. In the league we are not where we want to be but the season is a long one.”
Pjanić also had to comment on both Lionel Messi and Antoine Griezmann, players who will definitely be in the spotlight in Turin.
“Messi is the best of all time and it is a privilege to play alongside him. It’s a unique chance to have played alongside Messi and Cristiano.”
“Griezmann is a goalscorer and a great player and I am sure he will play well in the next few games. When he start to score goals, he will be vitally important for the team.”
Finally, a couple of words on Andrea Pirlo’s Juventus and the fact that Barcelona will once again play in an empty stadium.
“They are a very strong team so it will be a difficult game but our objective is to be at our best to pick up all three points.”
“I know Juventus very well and I am waiting excitedly for the game. We would like to play in front of the fans. Let’s hope we can overcome the current situation as quickly as possible.”