After a mighty impressive performance against Sevilla on the weekend, Barcelona will have to one-up themselves as they take on the Andalusian outfit in midweek. The mountain of a task includes cutting down the 0-2 first-leg advantage Julien Lopetegui’s men have. Ronald Koeman has selected 20 players that are part of the task for this mission.
Pedri picked up an injury at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan, and was expected to be out for two weeks at the bare minimum. Through some miracle, though, he returned to group training within 48 hours, and has been included in the squad list for the match.
Ronald Araujo, though, sadly, does not make the cut. He was subbed on for Gerard Pique near the one-hour mark on the weekend but had to be taken off after feeling some discomfort. He was suspected to be fit in time for this clash but does not make the cut owing to his ankle problems. Miralem Pjanic, too, does not make the list.
Ilaix Moriba has been included as well, and there is a good chance that he gets the nod over Pedri on the night if Koeman feels hesitant to risk the latter. He set up Messi for the second of the night in the 0-2 win on Saturday, and Barcelona fans will be hoping for more of the same tonight.
Full list: Ter Stegen, Neto, Pena; Dest, Mingueza, Pique, Lenglet, Umtiti, Alba, Firpo; Busquets, Ilaix, de Jong, Pedri, Puig; Braithwaite, Dembele, Messi, Trincao, Griezmann
Absentees: Araujo (ankle), Coutinho (knee), Roberto (calf), Fati (knee), Pjanic
Barcelona will certainly be motivated after their performance against one of the best sides in the league, but to do it after going down will be an entirely different story. The inclusion of Pedri is bound to instil hope in fans, but without Araujo, Gerard Pique will have to be the Barcelona’s saving grace.
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.