Yesterday, Josep Maria Bartomeu and Josep Vives attended a press conference to address some of the key talking points at the club. Of course, the president’s resignation has been discussed and that, along with more Clásico controversy, dominates today’s papers.
Unsurprisingly, Mundo Deportivo didn’t really focus on Bartomeu too much. They say that Sergio Ramos pulled Clément Lenglet’s shirt first so the penalty awarded to Real Madrid was a fluke.
Apparently, the referee has chosen to ignore his linesman’s plea and has given the penalty to the visitors regardless of the real situation. This, the paper says, is something Barcelona are willing to investigate and will follow up on their threats.
On the other hand, SPORT are all about Bartomeu and his latest words to the press. They say the president is resisting the vote of no confidence.
Not only that but he won’t consider resigning and never has. All the choices the board made were also unanimous, the president claims. He also discussed the situation with Lionel Messi’s request to leave the club, which was ultimately denied and the Argentine ended up staying put.
The paper also touches upon the non-existing penalty against Madrid. It seems that Barcelona believe there are audio recordings available that may reveal the true story behind the referee’s odd decision.
Official: Barcelona starting lineup to face Elche — Koeman makes five changes
Barcelona will be hoping to get back to winning ways as they host Elche at the Camp Nou for the rescheduled round one fixture. Ronald Koeman has heavily rotated his team for this encounter, making five changes to the team that took on Cadiz on the weekend.
The first of these changes comes in the heart of the defence, with Samuel Umtiti coming in to replace Clement Lenglet, starting alongside Gerard Pique. Oscar Mingueza gets a start as well, but it is at right-back instead of Sergino Dest. Jordi Alba retains his spot at the left-back position, while Marc-Andre Ter Stegen holding the gloves.
Sergio Busquets had a fairly decent game against Cadiz, but sees himself on the bench with Miralem Pjanic starting as the anchor. Beside him, Frenkie De Jong and Pedri will be acting as interiors as they have so often this season.
There are two changes in the attack as well, with Fransisco Trincao getting a well-deserved start on the right-wing, replacing Ousmane Dembele. Antoine Griezmann starts on the bench, as well, and has been replaced by Martin Braithwaite. Lionel Messi will spearhead the team hoping to keep his goal-scoring run alive.
Confirmed XI: ter Stegen; Mingueza, Pique, Umtiti, Alba; de Jong, Pjanic, Pedri; Trincao, Messi, Braithwaite
Koeman seems to have played all his cards all at once for this game, replacing every other player on the pitch. While Mingueza truly deserved a place in the XI today, it should have been at centre-half instead of Umtiti, who put in a heart-wrenching display against Sevilla in the Copa del Rey no more than two weeks back.