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Papers: ‘The Messi plan’; ‘Setién’s test’

The coach is fighting for his future but he has a plan, both for himself and his biggest star.

Domagoj Kostanjšak

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Photo by ANDER GILLENEA/AFP via Getty Images

It goes without saying that Barcelona are expected to win everything every single year. To go without a trophy, therefore, would be catastrophic. But according to today’s papers, Quique Setién’s plan for Lionel Messi is looking to improve the team while also easing the burden on the Argentine’s shoulders.

Sport are focusing on the coach’s future at Barcelona, saying that he’s fighting for his dear life and needs to do well if he’s to stay in Catalonia for a while longer.

Sport Cover Setien

Luckily for him, as the paper outlines, the club still has full confidence in their man and trusts in his abilities. For that reason, they are yet to contact any other coach to potentially replace the former Real Betis man, despite some reports stating the opposite.

Still, some things will have to change in order for all of that to work out and Setién’s plan for Messi might just be what helps him even the odds. Mundo Deportivo say he has an idea of how to balance the team and help Leo out in the process as well.

MD Cover Setien Messi

Setién wants his star to spend less energy and get more support from his midfield when it comes chance creation and creativity, both of which were almost exclusively coming from Messi himself.

But this way, Leo could stay higher and be the one receiving the passes in dangerous positions rather than dishing them out consistently from the deep.

In theory, it could solve a lot of Barcelona’s problems. Let’s wait and see if it works…

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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Ronald Araujo returns to Barcelona first-team training ahead of Sevilla clash

Domagoj Kostanjšak

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Photo by xJoaquinxCorcherox

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.

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