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…
Barcelona don’t lose comeback hope with Messi’s outrageous stats vs Sevilla
Later on tonight, Barcelona will do their best to mount another incredible comeback, this time against Sevilla. The Andalusians were the better team in the first leg of the Copa del Rey, winning 2-0 at their home ground. Today, however, they travel to the Camp Nou where they’ll try and keep their lead alive.
And even though we’re talking here about a very strong opponent, the Catalans have reasons to be optimistic. The first one is of course their recent result against that very same opponent. The two sides met in La Liga last weekend and Barcelona snatched up all three points in a convincing 2-0 victory.
This suggests they indeed do have what it takes to edge past Julen Lopetegui’s troops, especially since the game will be played in Catalonia. But there is also one other weapon Barcelona have at their disposal; one that is not exactly a big secret – Lionel Messi.
The little Argentine does feel like a cheat code at times but against Sevilla, that is even more true than usual. After all, Leo has already scored 38 goals and assisted further 19 in just 42 games played against this opposition.
That amounts to 57 goal contributions in 42 games. Even for Messi’s godly standards, that is just an unreal number. With such a player in your team, you can’t help but feel optimistic and hopeful regardless of the opposition.
Of course, we can’t expect Leo to solve games of this magnitude on his own so everyone will have to pull their weight. But even with that being said, if Messi can do what Messi usually does, Barcelona’s ultimate goal becomes that much easier to reach.
With morale high and players ready to tango, it should definitely be a thrilling contest to watch.
Let’s hope Ronald Koeman gets it right. And then, suddenly, the whole season can turn out that much sweeter.