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…
Ronald Araujo returns to Barcelona first-team training ahead of Sevilla clash
This Saturday afternoon, Barcelona will travel to Ramon Sanchez-Pizjuan to face Sevilla for the control of the third place in the table. The Andalusians have already proved they are an incredibly tricky opponent so this clash is bound to be a big one once more.
But there is some good news for Ronald Koeman ahead of the Saturday challenge. Barcelona have officially confirmed that Ronald Araujo is once again training with the team. Of course, the centre-back has been out of action for quite some time now and the Catalans have missed him dearly.
He may be still young and developing but the Uruguayan is a true rock in their defence. Having him available should definitely help in the remainder of the season, especially since Gerard Pique is also back.
However, we still don’t know whether Koeman will risk his defensive talisman right from the start this Saturday, even if he is given the green light. Sometimes, throwing players into the fire immediately, especially for such a huge game, can be counterproductive.
Araujo is surely eager to play but Koeman needs to think long-term when making this tricky decision. Despite the opposition and the importance of the match, maybe it wouldn’t be that bad to start him on the bench.
After all, he can always be substituted in if the team requires some extra solidity in the latter parts of the clash. Hopefully, however, it doesn’t come to that.
Either way, this is a must-win game and the team better be ready to face the challenge.