Despite having just three central defenders in the squad list to face Osasuna, Ronald Koeman has opted to continue with the three at-the-back formation against Osasuna. There are only two changes in the team, one in defence, and one in the attack. Antoine Griezmann starts after three games on the bench, replacing Ousmane Dembele in the attack. He is partnered with captain Lionel Messi.
Behind the duo, Sergino Dest occupies the position on the far-right side of the midfield five as a wing-back. Jordi Alba takes the other flank while Sergio Busquets will act as the anchor in the central midfield triumvirate. Pedri and Frenkie de Jong round up the centre of the park as the advanced midfielders with varying roles.
At the back, Oscar Mingueza will be hoping to recreate his performance against Sevilla from midweek, joining Clement Lenglet, who will probably take up the spot on the far left. Samuel Umtiti gets the nod to replace the injured Gerard Pique in the centre of the backline. Marc-Andre Ter Stegen dons responsibility of the gloves.
Confirmed XI: ter Stegen; Mingueza, Umtiti, Lenglet; Dest, de Jong, Busquets, Pedri, Alba; Messi, Griezmann
Osasuna defend very deep in their own half, and starting a 3-5-2 seems like a far from ideal idea. The one sets of wide players will be easy to occupy for the hosts, and Barcelona’s heavy midfield can be countered with their mid-block with wingers tucking in. Either way, with the Madrid derby set to take place soon, this game is of huge importance for the club in an attempt to climb up the table.
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.