Ronald Koeman has been forced into making a couple of changes to his starting XI ahead of the game against Atletico Madrid, starting from the injury to Sergio Busquets. The only other player in the team in that position – Miralem Pjanic – replaces him, partnering alongside Frenkie de Jong.
Sergino Dest was expected to feature over Sergi Roberto for this game, coming on the back of a sensational display with the USMNT, but has been benched for the Spaniard. Jordi Alba retains his place in the lineup, alongside Gerard Pique and Clement Lenglet. This back-four will guard Marc-Andre ter Stegen, who takes care of the net in goal.
In attack, we will continue to see Antoine Griezmann and Lionel Messi link up playing as the front two, while Ousmane Dembele flanks them from the right. Pedri replaces the injured Ansu Fati on the left-wing, who picked up an injury against Real Betis to complete the front-four.
Confirmed Barcelona Lineup: Ter Stegen; Roberto, Pique, Lenglet, Alba; Pjanic, de Jong; Dembele, Messi, Pedri; Griezmann
Ronald Koeman has been forced into a couple of changes for this game, but the exclusion of Dest seems unwarranted and a poor performance from Roberto will see social media taken by a storm yet again, like it happened against Betis when Barcelona conceded two goals from his flank.
Source: FC Barceona
Papers: Messi pays homage to Maradona in clash against Osasuna
Barcelona have finally returned to winning ways with a complete dismantling of Osasuna the other night. The 4-0 scoreline tells the whole story really but it was Lionel Messi who once again stole the show with his magic.
Needless to say, the papers this morning are all about the little genius and his special homage to the late Diego Armando Maradona. SPORT say it was an emotional tribute from one D10S to another.
The Argentine scored an incredible goal and then revealed an old Newell’s Old Boys shirt underneath his Azulgrana colours which also bore the no.10 on the back. That’s the same number Maradona used to wear back in the day.
Apart from that, Antoine Griezmann also had a great night as he scored by far the best goal of the game and most likely the 2020/21 season as a whole as well. This incredible volley is bound to restore at least some of the Frenchman’s lacking confidence.
Mundo Deportivo are saying the same things with their cover, ‘Amen‘.
The outlet talks about Messi’s homage to Maradona but also mentions the goalscorers, Martin Braithwaite, Griezmann and Philippe Coutinho. However, not all is perfect and there were a couple of things that may put a stain on an otherwise perfect night.
Clément Lenglet had to be replaced following an injury and that leaves Barcelona with no senior centre-backs available anymore should the injury be serious.
Time for Frenkie de Jong in the backline next to some youngsters? It would definitely seem so.