This morning, the papers are focusing on two main fronts over in Catalonia: the winter transfer window and the upcoming derby after the international break. Barcelona have a big challenge ahead of them and another huge test for Ronald Koeman.
SPORT are saying that Riqui Puig doesn’t want to leave the club this January and is adamant on succeeding at the Camp Nou.
The La Masia prodigy cannot see himself anywhere else and is completely loyal to the club of his childhood. However, the likes of Benfica and Porto are showing some interest and Barcelona would like for the youngster to go on a loan, if possible.
Apart from that, SPORT also say that Sergio Busquets will be out this weekend due to an injury sustained while playing for Spain. Now, it’s time for Miralem Pjanić to shine against a very tough opponent.
Speaking of Atlético Madrid, Mundo Deportivo are reporting on Luis Suárez, saying the Uruguayan won’t face Barça since he has tested positive for COVID-19.
This is undoubtedly a big hit for the Rojiblancos and will delay the reunion for just a bit. Still, even with him out of the squad, Diego Simeone’s team is in red-hot form and Koeman will have to come up with something special to beat them.
Official: Barcelona starting XI vs Dynamo Kyiv — Carles Aleña starts
Ronald Koeman surprised everyone with his travelling squad that would take on Dynamo Kyiv on matchday four of the Champions League, leaving Lionel Messi and Frenkie de Jong out of the equation. Following that, several changes have been made to the starting XI, the biggest one being Carles Aleña’s inclusion, who partners Miralem Pjanic in the double pivot.
Sergino Dest takes over the right-back spot following the injury to Sergi Roberto and has been replaced by Junior Firpo. Another huge takeaway is Oscar Mingueza, who starts alongside Clement Lenglet in the heart of the defece. This back-four will guard Marc-Andre ter Stegen, who takes care of the net in goal.
The front-four is very different as well, with Martin Braithwaite getting his first start of the season. He will lead the line, playing off of Philippe Coutinho as the no. 10. Pedri starts yet another game, playing on the left, while Ousmane Dembele is benched for Fransisco Trincao.
Confirmed Barcelona Lineup: Ter Stegen; Dest, Mingueza, Lenglet, Firpo; Pjanic, Alena; Trincao, Coutinho, Pedri; Braithwaite
Riqui Puig does not make the cut for this game, yet again, despite the squad having no more than four central midfielders, one of which was Matheus Fernandes. That said, we might see the fan-favourite youngster come off the bench.
Source: FC Barceona