Marc-Andre ter Stegen makes his return to the Barcelona squad for their home game against Getafe on Sunday.
Barcelona lock horns with Getafe on Sunday, hoping to sign off for the upcoming international break on a positive note. The Catalan giants have started their campaign with four points in two matches, recently getting held to a draw by Athletic Bilbao.
Ronald Koeman, though, continues to battle with an injury crisis, with Gerard Pique being the most recent player to be sidelined. The experienced centre-back is joined by Eric Garcia in the list of absentees in the defensive unit, whereas Samuel Umtiti has not been included in the squad due to his lack of future at the club.
“I don’t think it’s good to talk about individual names. The clubs knows what I want, which players I want to continue, but I respect players that have contracts with our team. They know which players will find it difficult to play games because of the competition in some positions.
“It’s really tough for them and us. If we recover all our injured players we will have 31-32 players in our squad. It’s impossible to manage such a big squad,” Koeman said in the pre-match press conference, when asked about Umtiti.
On a positive note, Marc-Andre ter Stegen is back into the squad and appears to have recovered from his injury. He could, therefore, replace Neto in between the sticks, while Clement Lenglet and Ronald Araujo should form the central defensive duo, in the absence of Pique and Garcia, who is suspended after picking up a red card in the last game.
There should be no changes elsewhere in defence, with Sergino Dest and Jordi Alba once again occupying the full-back slots. Oscar Mingueza has been included in the team, though. He is an alternative at right-back or centre-back.
In midfield, Pedri remains out after being handed a vacation, so the additional slot alongside Frenkie de Jong and Sergio Busquets remains open. Miralem Pjanic has been interestingly included in the squad despite his uncertain future, but we expect Sergi Roberto get the nod in the middle of the park.
There should be no changes on the attacking front as the offensive trifecta of Antoine Griezmann, Memphis Depay and Martin Braithwaite continue to spearhead the Barcelona frontline. Unfortunately, Ansu Fati is not a part of the squad, as he is still recovering from his fitness problems.
“We don’t have to rush. I think that Ansu still needs more time to compete at the best level. We are talking about a player who has been out injured for 7-8 months and you can’t recover your best form in 2 weeks. I don’t want to say a date. He needs more training sessions because we want to have Ansu for a long, long time and we won’t take a single risk,” said Koeman when asked about the young attacking phenom.
Fatu is joined by Sergio Aguero and Ousmane Dembele in the list of offensive absentees, but Rey Manaj, Yusuf Demir and Philippe Coutinho are set to serve potential alternatives going forward.
Predicted Barcelona XI: ter Stegen; Dest, Araujo, Lenglet, Alba; Roberto, Busquets, de Jong; Griezmann, Depay, Braithwaite