Ousmane Dembele is set to replace Antoine Griezmann when Barcelona take on PSG in the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 second leg on Wednesday.
Barcelona will be hoping for another UEFA Champions League miracle against PSG when the two sides meet at the Parc des Princes for the Round of 16 second leg on Wednesday night. And, Ronald Koeman does not have any fresh injury concerns to deal with ahead of his side’s latest fixture.
Having said that, the Barcelona manager is missing a few key players, particularly in defence, where Gerard Pique and Ronald Araujo are unavailable due to their respective knee injuries. In addition, the likes of Sergi Roberto (hamstring), Philippe Coutinho (knee) and Ansu Fati (knee) are also missing in the travelling squad to face PSG due to their own fitness troubles.
During his pre-match press conference, Koeman provided a general fitness update on his squad with a special emphasis on Araujo as well. The Barcelona boss said, “We’ve not had all of our players available at any stage this season. We’ve been especially unlucky with centre backs. But the team is strong and the replacements have shown their worth and they will do so again tomorrow.”
“I spoke to Ronald Araujo and we’ve been monitoring him for the last fortnight. We have pushed him a bit to get fit in time but we don’t want to push him too much. He needs to train with the team and if all goes well he could be in the squad for Monday.”
Koeman should line his side up in the 3-5-2 formation that has worked wonders in the last couple of weeks. And, in the continued absence of Pique and Araujo, Clement Lenglet, Samuel Umtiti and Oscar Mingueza pick themselves in the three-man central defensive unit, with Marc-Andre ter Stegen taking his place in goal.
As for the wing-backs, Sergino Dest and Jordi Alba revel in their new roles more than that of a traditional full-back and the duo are certainties out wide. Sergio Busquets will sit at the base of what is essentially a three-man midfield unit, with Frenkie de Jong and Pedri sitting alongside him in the middle of the park and providing the creative impetus.
Finally, Lionel Messi picks himself in the striker partnership, but the Barcelona captain is set for a change of partners. Ousmane Dembele ought to come in for compatriot Antoine Griezmann, who will be an option off the bench later in the game.
Barcelona Predicted XI: ter Stegen; Mingueza, Lenglet, Umtiti; Dest, de Jong, Busquets, Pedri, Alba; Messi, Dembele