Ronald Koeman dropped Lionel Messi, Philippe Coutinho, and Marc-Andre ter Stegen from the squad list that travelled to Budapest to take on Ferencvaros, so multiple changes were inevitable. Among all the changes, however, Martin Braithwaite has kept his spot in the team for a this game in a row, and starts again as the central striker.
Antoine Griezmann retains his place in the team as the no. 10, playing behind Braithwaite, with Ousmane Dembele and Fransisco Trincao complement him through the left and right flank respectively. Behind them, Miralem Pjanic and Sergio Busquets are partnered together in the double pivot.
Neto takes responsibility of the gloves in the absence of ter Stegen, and will be screened by the duo of Oscar Mingueza and Clement Lenglet – who starts the game against all odds. Jordi Alba and Sergino Dest will provide width from the back, as the starting fullbacks.
Confirmed Barcelona XI: Neto; Dest, Mingueza, Lenglet, Alba; Pjanic, Busquets; Trincao, Griezmann, Dembele; Braithwaite
Ronald Koeman has named the ideal mix of fringe players and starters for this game. It will be a huge chance for the likes of Trincao, Braithwaite, and Pjanic to etch their names into the manager’s good books, while it gives Neto the chance for redemption, who starts his first game since the disaster against Deportivo Alaves.
Just in: Neymar’s entourage confirms renewal with PSG as he ‘likes the project’
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.”
Neymar is expected to sign soon his new contract with Paris Saint-Germain until June 2026, huge UCL bonus confirmed too. His entourage just announced to France Football: “Neymar wants to stay at PSG. He sees that the club is growing. He likes the project”. 🇧🇷 #PSG https://t.co/LMnrpctSkx— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) April 12, 2021
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.