The French defender will miss his first big La Liga game as a Barcelona player after suffering a knee injury in training the day before the match.
Samuel Umtiti suffered an internal ligament strain in his left knee during Tuesday morning’s training session and will miss Barcelona’s clash against Atletico Madrid, according to the official club website. The report adds that the progression of his injury in the coming days will determine exactly how long he will be out for.
The 22-year-old could well be the future of the Barca defence, but it looks like manager Luis Enrique will have to turn to two of the greatest servants of the club in Javier Mascherano and Gerard Pique to partner up in central defence.
As for the attack, Enrique has stated that while the Messi-Suarez-Neymar trio need to rest, is highly unlikely that they will be on the bench for the big game against Atletico.
“I’d like to have all three play all 90 minutes of every game, but it cannot be so,” the Barcelona manager said at the pre-match press conference. “We have to find time for them to rest. Sometimes I discuss it with them and other times I decide during the game.”
Enrique played a three-man defence against Leganes last weekend. However, the injury to Umtiti means that the central defence pairing of Pique and Macherano will be flanked by left-back Jordi Alba and the impressive Rafinha Alcantara playing in the right-back position.
The midfield trio of Sergio Busquets, Andres Iniesta and Ivan Rakitic will be playing a key role against Atletico and will look to feed the star attacking triumvirate of Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar.
Marc-Andre Ter Stegen, who has become the no. 1 goalkeeper at Barca after the departure of Claudio Bravo to Man City, will look to prevent the likes of Antoine Griezmann and Fernando Torres getting the best of him.