According to a report published by AS, Philippe Coutinho picked up a hamstring injury after the game against Real Madrid and is expected to be out for three weeks in recovery.
Coutinho played the entire 90 minutes in the El Clasico, starting on the left-wing initially, but being pegged to central midfield in an interesting turn of events as Barcelona chased the game for the last half-an-hour.
Before this game, the Brazilian had featured in all of Barcelona’s five La Liga games this season, scoring one goal and registering two assists. He also played 70 minutes in the UEFA Champions League against Ferencvaros, scoring Blaugrana’s third of the game.
Now, however, Coutinho is expected to return no earlier than the end of the next international break, which ends with a game against Atletico Madrid on the 22nd of November. This means that he is likely out for the game against Juventus, which is already lacking the glimmer of Cristiano Ronaldo, who is recovering from Coronavirus.
The 28-year-old has been in spectacular form this season, but his absence should not be a cause of worry for the Garnet and the Blue, who have enough firepower in their ranks to cover for Coutinho. Lionel Messi, Antoine Griezmann, and Pedri are all more than capable of starting and performing in that attacking midfield role that Coutinho has made his own this season.
Barça midfielder Aleña speaks following his first start in nearly a year
Carles Aleña started his first game for Barça in nearly a year. His last start for his boyhood club came in December 2019 against Inter Milan, and Ronald Koeman selected him against Dynamo Kyiv after injuries decimated his squad. After his impressive display, Aleña spoke to the media.
“I’m very happy to return to the field. We played a great game and we took advantage of our chances.”Carles Aleña | Post-match press conference
Aleña ended his ordeal with a near-Man of the Match performance away to the Ukrainians. The Spanish youngster was his team’s metronome and misplaced one solitary pass. His pass map is a joy to behold and the midfielder deserves a lot of recognition for that display.
📸 — Aleñá’s pass map against Kyiv tonight.— Barça Universal (@BarcaUniversal) November 24, 2020
Not a back-passer at all. pic.twitter.com/Ah5QrsgW3N
At the beginning of the year, Ronald Koeman did not fancy Aleña at all. He and Riqui Puig were ostracised, but the two of them showed a lot of resilience against Kyiv. Hopefully, their coach opens his eyes.
“Playing with the first team requires a lot of hard work.”Carles Aleña | Post-match press conference
We will have to wait and see whether Koeman is on the same page with the fans regarding Aleña’s performance. One thing is clear: the 22-year-old can play a crucial role in the team if used correctly.