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Papers: ‘Barcelona are facing Real Madrid and VAR’

The papers are still busy discussing the help Real Madrid are getting in the league from the referees…

Domagoj Kostanjšak

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It has been a couple of days now since Barcelona were eclipsed in the table by Real Madrid and VAR, and the papers are still very much focusing on the incidents that gave the lead to Los Blancos in the first place.

Both Sport and Mundo Deportivo went with a cover highlighting the fact that the referees have not exactly been perfect throughout the season, especially since the return after the break, and this has made life more difficult for the Catalans.

Sport even went as far as saying that ‘Barcelona are facing Real Madrid and VAR’ and that the players within the squad are disappointed with the bad decisions that gave Los Blancos their lead in the league rankings.

Still, the paper outlines, they will fight to retain the crown and win at the Camp Nou again later on tonight as Lionel Messi hunts for his 700th goal.

Mundo Deportivo have gone with mostly the same thing: Real Madrid and VAR. But they were also quick to involve Quique Setién in the whole situation, reminding everyone of his recent quotes from the pre-game press conference where the gaffer questioned the decision to check only some of the situations with the video assistant and not all of them.

They also dedicated a small section of the cover to Arthur Melo and his potential move to Juventus as the Italians reportedly muster a new and improved offer that could indeed turn the Brazilian’s head.

As for Barcelona’s side of the story, they want Miralem Pjanić to join and they want it badly. For that reason, Arthur departing is not exactly that far-fetched at all.

Away from the transfers, the Azulgranas are also facing Athletic Club tonight but even though that game is really important in their title chase, it seems the papers are not exactly putting much emphasis on it at all.

I’ve been a Barcelona fan for more than half of my life. What started as blind love is slowly turning into professional writing. Now, I get to write about Barca, analyse them, and voice my opinions on them across platforms. I’m happy to be a part of this big project.

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Koeman only has two options for the centre-back position against Juventus

Alexandre Patanian

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Photo by Alex Caparros/Getty Images

After losing against Real Madrid, Ronald Koeman has yet another tough fixture to his rough start in Catalunya. In the second Champions League game of his tenure, Koeman faces Juventus in what seems like a battle of two struggling coaches. On the one hand, Andrea Pirlo is winless in his last three league games as Koeman is.

Moreover, Pirlo is missing three centre-backs, with Leonardo Bonucci, Giorgio Chiellini and Matthijs de Ligt out for the Wednesday clash. Still, Koeman isn’t any luckier since Gerard Piqué is out because of the red card he got against Ferencvaros. Without the “President” in defence, the Dutchman will have to compose with Ronald Araujo and Clément Lenglet. The pair are two brilliant centre-backs who haven’t played alongside each other much, however.

This fixture is the hardest in the group for the Catalans as they face the toughest opponent away from home, a recurrent problem for the Culés in European competitions. Also, if something happens to Araujo or Lenglet, the backup defender is Oscar Mingueza. The youngster was included along with four other Barça B players in the UCL squad. This test will be interesting to see, and Koeman has to win his first big game with Barcelona.

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