Barcelona are set to be without Luis Suarez, who should be replaced by Malcom when they take on Getafe at Camp Nou on Sunday.
After back-to-back losses against Celta Vigo and Liverpool, Barcelona manager Ernesto Valverde will demand a response when the Spanish giants host Getafe at Camp Nou on Sunday.
Barcelona have already secured their 26th La Liga title – their eighth league crown in eleven years. However, the Blaugrana slumped to a 4-0 defeat against Liverpool in midweek, which led to their catastrophic exit from the semi-finals of the UEFA Champions League. And this dejected Barcelona side will be keen to retrieve some confidence with a win over Getafe this weekend.
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Manager Valverde had “no excuses” after his side’s disastrous 4-0 defeat to Liverpool in midweek. He was subjected to harsh criticism this week, with some fans even calling for his dismissal. Valverde though, sounded somewhat optimistic and looked keen to move on during his pre-match press conference ahead of this weekend’s clash against Getafe.
“We have the desire to play and win tomorrow, but at the same time never remember what happened to you. The problem is the way we got knocked out; we were far ahead with a good difference. We want to take a step forward, it was a difficult week, and we have to skip it.”
The club have confirmed, through the squad Valverde named to face Getafe, that they will be missing out on the services of a host of star players due to injury troubles.
Luis Suarez is the major absentee, having been ruled out for the rest of the campaign with an ankle injury, while Arthur Melo is also missing with a pubis discomfort. The duo join Ousmane Dembele and Rafinha in Barcelona’s list of absentees this weekend.
Jeison Murillo and Thomas Vermaelen have both been left out of the squad. That means Valverde is unlikely to make any defensive changes to the side that lost to Liverpool aside from the likely return of Nelson Semedo. The Portuguese will replace Sergi Roberto at right-back.
In midfield, Arthur’s absence will pave the way for Carles Alena to receive another start. The youngster will partner Ivan Rakitic and Sergio Busquets, who will operate in the holding midfield role. Busquets will be hoping to receive a bit more freedom, after being completely isolated in the midweek.
Kevin-Prince Boateng has also been left out of the squad and with Suarez injured, Lionel Messi is set to spearhead the Barcelona attack this weekend. Elsewhere, Dembele’s absence will allow Malcom to start on the right flank while Philipe Coutinho will be deployed on the opposite flank.
The Brazilian international will have a point to prove after being linked with a move away from the Nou Camp in the summer, and with Dembele and Suarez out, he should start the remaining games, getting the opportunity to turn his fortunes around.