Barcelona travel to Ukraine to face Dynamo Kyiv in a crucial Champions League group stage tie, with Gerard Pique set to miss out through injury.
Barcelona have not started strongly since Ronald Koeman was relieved of his charge last week. In addition, they still have a mess to clean in the UEFA Champions League. Heading into Matchday 4, Barcelona have secured just one win so far against Dynamo Kyiv, losing their other two games rather heavily.
Sergi Barjuan has a task at hand to pick the correct lineup for their visit to Ukraine. Heading into the game, the interim manager already has a few major issues to deal with. The minor Tachycardia attack Sergio Aguero suffered made headlines all over, with the issue set keep him out for at least three months as he undergoes treatment.
There are also fitness concerns pertaining to Ousmane Dembele, Ansu Fati and Frenkie de Jong; however, Fati and de Jong are expected to start after receiving the medical all-clear. However, Gerard Pique, who got the crucial goal in the previous fixture against Dynamo Kyiv, is ruled out. Pedri and Sergi Roberto are big doubts, although Barjuan will have plenty of cover for them.
In his pre-match press conference, Barjuan spoke about multiple players, including Aguero, on whom he said, “I spoke to Kun yesterday, he’s calm.” The interim Barcelona boss then talked about the players who have been recalled after their bouts with injuries.
“All those called up are ready to play. It is a very important game for us and we have to be demanding with ourselves. Recovering players is important. It is an extra motivation for all, players who are decisive are good for the group and we must take advantage of them. Dembélé has been away for a long time.”
In defence, Ronald Araujo is back after missing some time due to injury. However, Barjuan is unlikely to risk him despite Pique’s absence. Eric Garcia remains available and could be partnered by Clement Lenglet at the heart of the Barcelona defence. Oscar Mingueza and Jordi Alba will complete the backline along with goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen.
Sergio Busquets will lead the midfield, with Gavi and de Jong operating on either side. Moving up into the attacking unit, Sergino Dest has excelled in the final third and will continue to provide the impetus from the right-hand side. Ansu Fati will take his spot on the left flank, with Memphis Depay prepared to lead the line for Barcelona against Dynamo Kyiv.
Predicted Barcelona XI: ter Stegen; Mingueza, Garcia, Lenglet, Alba; de Jong, Busquets, Gavi; Dest, Depay, Fati