Barcelona have announced their starting XI that will host Juventus in the final gameweek of the UEFA Champions League in a battle to see who tops the group. The biggest takeaway from the lineup is the absence of Martin Braithwaite, who is benched for the first time in four games. The responsibility to lead the line will fall on the shoulders of Lionel Messi and Antoine Griezmann.
Fransisco Trincao starts on the right-wing for the team, while Pedri has been given his first start in three games replacing the injured Ousmane Dembele. Behind them, Frenkie de Jong starts in the double pivot alongside Miralem Pjanic.
Clement Lenglet has a new partner in the heart of the defence, as Ronald Araujo comes to replace Oscar Mingueza, who will be gutted to miss the game on the back of a silly mistake against Cadiz on the weekend. Jordi Alba and Sergino Dest will provide width from the back, while Marc-Andre ter Stegen picks up the gloves for the Blaugrana.
Barcelona Starting XI: ter Stegen; Dest, Araujo, Lenglet, Alba; Pjanic, de Jong; Trincao, Messi, Pedri; Griezmann
Benching Braithwaite, despite him firing a blank against Cadiz is a huge decision given the amount of space Juventus leave in the centre. Moreover, Griezmann and Messi will have a huge task on their hands as they attempt to balance out their positions in order to attempt any clashes on the pitch. All said and done, Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo grace the pitch together once again, the world will be witness to it.
Barcelona presidential candidate takes a jab at Madrid president, calls him VARentino Perez
The presidential elections are edging ever closer and the people are already picking their favourites. However, this battle has very much become a two-horse race and even calling it that is putting it quite mildly as well. Joan Laporta is, to many, the frontrunner for the position while Victor Font and Antoni Freixa are lagging far behind.
This is especially true for the latter who seems to stand no chance against two big names in the business. But Freixa is still trying and campaigning as well. One of his latest moves was actually taking a dig at both Real Madrid and his direct rivals.
Following in Laporta’s footsteps of mocking the Madridistas, according to AS‘ report, Freixa addressed Florentino Perez, Real’s president, as ‘VARentino’ in one of his slogans.
‘I will not allow VARentino to control LaLiga,’, read the slogan to be more precise. Of course, some socis will undoubtedly find this funny and appealing. After all, Laporta’s dig was well received in the community because Barcelona fans, and any other fans for that matter, like jabs like these that are aimed at their arch-rivals.
However, Freixa also took a dig at Laporta as well, calling him out for not attending the debate with himself and Font. Either way, we can safely say the tension is slowly but surely on the rise.
March is also rapidly approaching and the candidates are using all the aces they have up their sleeves. We still don’t know who will have the final say but at the same time, there are some indications suggesting there is a clear favourite after all.
We’ll just have to wait and see.