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Official: Barcelona squad list to take on Sevilla — Ronald Araujo returns

Udhav Arora

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Photo via Imago

Barcelona fans have reasons to rejoice as Ronald Araujo returns to the squad list that will take on Sevilla at the Camp Nou as part of gameweek 25 of La Liga. The Uruguayan has been one of the biggest takeaways from this season, breaking through in the heart of the defence. Injuries have curtailed his potential, though, but he returns to the squad list for the first time in five games.

Unsurprisingly, Konrad de la Fuente has been dropped out, with Ilaix Moriba getting a call-up for this game. Elsewhere, Miralem Pjanic, who was substituted off at half-time, has been dropped, with reasons undisclosed. His exclusion pretty much guarantees a spot in the XI for Sergio Busquets.

Gerard Pique was subbed out early in all three games he has played after returning from injury, and makes the squad list for this crucial tie. He is expected to get the nod ahead of Oscar Mingueza, Clement Lenglet, and Samuel Umtiti as the centre-back alongside Araujo.

Full list: Ter Stegen, Neto, Pena; Dest, Mingueza, Pique, Araujo, Lenglet, Umtiti, Alba, Firpo; Busquets, Ilaix, de Jong, Pedri, Puig, Matheus; Braithwaite, Dembele, Messi, Trincao, Griezmann

Absentees: Coutinho (knee), Roberto (calf), Fati (knee), Pjanic

The relationship between Miralem Pjanic and Ronald Araujo has been visibly toxic and it seems it has finally come at the cost of the Bosnian’s place in the squad list. It seems imminent that Koeman trusts Ilaix, a 17-year-old Barcelona B player more than a seasoned veteran like Pjanic. We can just hope that the teenager’s dynamism comes in handy against an extremely well-drilled Sevilla.

Editor-in-Chief. | They say a picture says a thousand words, but I intend to write a thousand words about a picture I clicked.

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Just in: Neymar’s entourage confirms renewal with PSG as he ‘likes the project’

Udhav Arora

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Photo via Imago

Fabrizio Romano has broken huge news as part of Neymar’s contract situation with Paris Saint-Germain, which all but officially announces that the Brazilian will be staying in France, contrary to what has been reported recently. The report suggests that that he will sign his extension soon, which is bound to include a massive UCL bonus.

Neymar’s entourage have confirmed his decision to stay with the Paris outfit in conversation with France Football, saying, “Neymar wants to stay at PSG. He sees that the club is growing. He likes the project.”

PSG have, in fact, actually enjoyed success in Europe in the recent past. They reached the Champions League final last season, crumbling only to the unstoppable Bayern Munich by a mere one goal to nil. Since then, they have fired Thomas Tuchel, and hired Mauricio Pochettino, who inspired an incredible victory against Bayern in this season’s Champions League quarters. Spearheaded by Neymar and Mbappe, the capital-side hit the defending champions for three goals, conceding two.

Despite their lead in the UCL, they do not have a stronghold on the trophy with the likes of Manchester City, Chelsea, and Real Madrid still in the running. It becomes a lot more problematic when you realise their situation in Ligue 1.

PSG look far from comfortable in the league, which is a shocker to say the least. As it stands, Pochettino’s mean are in second place with 66 points, three adrift of Lille who top the table with one of the most impressive defensive records in Europe.

A season without either of the big trophies might force Neymar to have a change of mind, with the Barcelona project looking much more comprehensive under Joan Laporta. In fact, the new President might look at the Brazilian as the key that will allow Lionel Messi to stay at the club. We do the same rumours annually, so it is only fair if any of these ‘confirmations’ are turned on their head in the coming weeks.

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