FC Barcelona have announced the squad list that will take on Osasuna in the Camp Nou for gameweek 11 in La Liga. Neither team has been particularly impressive this season in the league, but the fact that Osasuna are on as many points as their opponents for tomorrow goes to show the level at which Barça has been operating this season.
Lionel Messi and Frenkie de Jong were both rested for the midweek clash against Dynamo Kyiv, which Barcelona won rather comfortably. Both of them return to the squad list for the weekend encounter, though, with Ronald Koeman naming 21 players on the list.
Ronald Araujo and Gerard Pique are both missing from the sheet, with the latter expected to return not before April 2021. Araujo, though, has nearly completed his recovery and might feature in midweek.
Sergio Busquets was sidelined for a couple of weeks after picking up a knock against Switzerland during the international break but has returned to the list after missing two games.
Carles Aleña and Riqui Puig both put up an impressive display in Ukraine, albeit in different sets of minutes, and are both part of the squad that will take on Osasuna. Apart from them, youngster Oscar Mingueza, too, has been named in the list coming on the back of a solid game in midweek.
Sergino Dest was reported to have a muscle discomfort, but trained normally with the group, and is expected to feature on Sunday.
The biggest takeaway is probably the inclusion of Matheus Fernandes, who was given 17 minutes on the pitch against Kyiv, where he completed 100% of his passes. However, his inclusion comes at the cost of Konrad de la Fuente, who has been left out again.
The full squad: Ter Stegen, Neto, Inaki Pena; Dest, Lenglet, Mingueza, Alba, Firpo; Mathueus, Aleña, Pedri, Pjanic, Puig, Coutinho, Busquets, de Jong; Griezmann, Trincão, Dembele, Braithwaite, Messi
Absentees: Pique, Araujo, Sergi Roberto, Ansu Fati, Samuel Umtiti, Konrad
Barcelona have followed an unfortunate trend of following an exceptional display in the Champions League with a performance of stark contrast in the La Liga. Now that the team is coming on the back of an impressive win over Dynamo Kyiv, it will be interesting to see how they cope vs Osasuna – the team who ended Barcelona’s impressive winning streak at home last season.
La Liga chief Javier Tebas talks summer transfers and fan return to stadiums
In a conference held by ADEA Forum (Association of managers and executives of Aragon) in Zaragoza, Javier Tebas spoke on a wide range of topics surrounding La Liga.
Mostly, the La Liga president spoke regarding the league’s bounce back from the pandemic and some potential plans for the league to restore public crowds. He also discussed the losses incurred, the summer transfers, among other things.
The Condition of La Liga
Tebas started the conference by claiming that the situation for the Spanish league is comparatively better than other leagues.
Speaking on this, he said, “The situation is worrying, but not so much. I think that of this pandemic the Spanish League is the one that is going to turn out less badly compared to the others.”
He then spoke about the losses incurred in Spanish football, with the net loss amounting to €1 billion by the 30th of September.
On the losses, Tebas said, “Of this billion, 750 have been financed by banks or investment funds, the latter the majority based in London, and the rest have been done by the clubs pulling their cash.”
Additionally, he mentioned that it was big clubs that were affected stronger than the smaller clubs, due to the huge loss of income from the lack of crowds, among other profitable economic activities that clubs such as Real Madrid and Barcelona enjoy above others.
A return for crowds to stadiums
When speaking on a return of crowds to stadiums, the La Liga chief seemed tremendously confident in their ability to host crowds as early as tomorrow. He claimed that they would have to run at between 20% to 30% capacity; nonetheless, the Spaniard was confident that teams would be more than capable of hosting crowds very soon.
Speaking on the same, he said, “There is a working group for the return [of fans] to the stadiums. I hope that in the last league games we can see the public in a proportional amount.”
Upcoming transfer window
Speaking on the summer transfer window, the president claimed that there will indeed be a lower amount of transfers as there were in the previous window. Tebas said, “They have already been lower in winter. There may be occasional and exceptional operations, but globally it will decrease. There will be exchanges of players. It’s going to be lower than last year.”
Accordingly, clubs are going to have to dig into their academy reserves more and more as the global and financial situations amend over time.