Saturday is approaching rapidly and Barcelona are getting ready to host Napoli in a huge European clash at the Camp Nou. Interestingly enough, Riqui Puig could make his grand debut in the Champions League as well if Quique Setién gives him a chance. According to the papers, he just might.
Mundo Deportivo are saying that the La Masia youngster has been a starter in the last five out of seven games and has responded to the coach’s confidence. Now, however, his greatest challenge of the season arrives in the form of Napoli.
But, there’s a real possibility that Puig indeed makes his Champions League debut this Saturday night. He is, after all, ready and has shown that game in, game out in LaLiga. At this point, and assuming Napoli will deploy similar tactics like in the first game, Barcelona will really need the youngster’s skill set.
The Catalans’ attack, however, has already been decided. Sport are saying Setién will go with the trident up front since Antoine Griezmann is ready to play. This means the 3-5-2 formation that was rumoured is now off the table.
But, at the same time, there was a lot of talk of Griezmann stepping up and playing like never before in a Barcelona shirt. If true, the Frenchman deserves to start and show us a little bit of the magic we know he has up his sleeve.
And who knows, with a bit more work, we just might see Ousmane Dembélé at the Camp Nou this weekend as well…
Coutinho and Pjanic speak post Barça 1-0 Elche
Barça midfielders Philippe Coutinho and new signing Miralem Pjanic spoke to the media after Barça’s narrow 1-0 triumph over Elche at the Camp Nou.
“Being back here feels great. I missed playing here, and I’m very excited to continue.” Coutinho told the media. “We’re trying our best to adapt to the coach’s new system. The level of the team is increasing; I hope things go well.”
After having featured in all three pre-season games for Barça, Coutinho is looking forward to the upcoming La Liga season. “I am eager to help the team win. There is one week left till La Liga starts and we are all focused and excited to begin.”
“I feel very happy that I made my debut. It was great.” Pjanic said after the game. “The team are working hard to prepare for the upcoming matches.”
Miralem Pjanic and Philippe Coutinho are both essentially new additions to the Barça squad since Pjanic just joined from Juventus and Coutinho returned back from his loan spell at Bayern – where he won the treble in a remarkable fashion. Things are looking bright for Coutinho, who has featured in all of Barça’s three pre-season games. Culés around the world are expecting big things from the two after having lost Brazilian youngster Arthur to Juventus this summer.