Gerard Pique misses out through suspension while Antoine Griezmann will come in for Philippe Coutinho when Barcelona take on Juventus on Wednesday.
Barcelona will hope to consolidate their place atop Group G of the UEFA Champions League, when they lock horns with Juventus at the Allianz Stadium on Wednesday night. And, Ronald Koeman has a couple of fresh roster issues to deal with ahead of his side’s latest fixture.
Barcelona are travelling to Turin without four first-team players. Now while Samuel Umtiti is not a regular anyway, Marc-Andre ter Stegen’s absence has been felt to some extent. The latest absentees for the visitors, though, are Gerard Pique and Philippe Coutinho, both of whom are not a part of the travelling squad due to different reasons.
While Pique is suspended due to his ridiculous decision making that got him sent off against Ferencvaros last week, Coutinho misses out due to a hamstring injury he sustained this past weekend in El Clasico versus bitter rivals Real Madrid.
— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) October 27, 2020
In Pique’s absence, Ronald Araujo is the obvious pick to start at the heart of the Barcelona defence alongside Clement Lenglet. Jordi Alba is an automatic pick as the left-back, while on the right flank, the choice is between Sergi Roberto and Sergino Dest. Dest has made an impressive start to life as a Barcelona player and should get the nod ahead of Roberto. Neto will deputise for ter Stegen in goal.
Up ahead in midfield, Frenkie de Jong is a certainty, having improved his form in the last two games. Who he partners will be interesting to see, with neither Sergio Busquets nor Miralem Pjanic being particularly convincing. Pjanic, though, should be favoured to feature against former club Juventus in the double pivot.
Meanwhile, during his pre-match press conference, Koeman was quizzed about how he would go about replacing Coutinho. Antoine Griezmann could be an option, but the Barcelona boss was coy in his reply.
“Like I’ve said several times we have several players with different characteristics. I normally go with players who are well trained, very ready. I’m also thinking about tactics. We need to have a look match by match. You have to play the best team that you can.”
Griezmann should indeed be given a chance to make his case for regular inclusion in the no. 10 role. With the Frenchman starting centrally, Francisco Trincao should return to the side on the right wing, with Ansu Fati starting on the left flank. Finally, Lionel Messi will spearhead the Barcelona attack against Juventus.
Barcelona Predicted XI: Neto; Dest, Araujo, Lenglet, Alba; Pjanic, de Jong; Trincao, Griezmann, Fati; Messi