Sunday 27 September 2020
A second march by Dutchman Ronald Koeman with Barcelona on Sunday evening, but this time as a coach when the Catalan team hosts its counterpart Villarreal at Camp Nou, in the third round of the Spanish League.
Barcelona will play its first La Liga match 2020/2021 since Koeman took over as coach of the team from Kiki Setien, after the team’s historic (8-2) loss to Bayern Munich in the quarter-finals of the Champions League last month in Lisbon.
Coman presented his quick ideas during the three matches in the preparation period, as Barcelona beat Nastic, Girona and Elche, and the Barca coach developed a new way of playing (4-2-3-1), with reliance on high pressure and quick movement of the ball.
Arthur, Ivan Rakitic, Arturo Vidal, Luis and Suarez left Barcelona this summer, with the arrival of three new faces, Trenkau, Pedri and Miralem Pjanic, as well as the emergence of young player Ansu Fati officially to the first team.
But perhaps another young star, Ricky Puig, one of Barcelonas most promising talents, may find that his playing time has been curtailed this season even though he finished last season with a great performance, given the current tough competition in midfield, to recommend Koeman on loan.
The features of Barcelonas formation began to become clear with the beginning of Koeman’s reign, but at the start of his matches, he would lose the services of the main German goalkeeper, Marc-Andre ter Stegen, due to an injury after undergoing knee surgery, to rely on his Brazilian colleague Neto.
While waiting to sign Sereno Dest from Ajax and Eric Garcia from Manchester City, Koeman will continue to rely on the same line of defense last season, consisting of Sergi Roberto, Gerard Pique, Clemo Lenglet and Jordi Alba.
In midfield, Ronald Koeman is heading to count on the duo Sergio Buskets and Dutchman Frankie de Jong in the face of Villarreal, while keeping young star Carlis Alenia and Bosnian newcomer Miralem Pjanic on the bench.
In the attack, Argentine Lionel Messi may play as an imaginary striker after Suarez’s departure, against Brazilian Philippe Coutinho, who returned after the end of his loan to Bayern Munich as a playmaker, with French Antoine Griezmann and Anso Fati on the sides.
And absent from the Barcelona list against Villarreal are Ter Stegen, Samuel Umtiti and Martin Braithwaite due to injury, along with Rafinha, who returns after the end of his loan to Celta Vigo, and the young duo Jean-Claire Todibo and Matthews Fernandes.
The expected formation of Barcelona against Villarreal comes as follows:
In goalkeeping: Neto.
Defense: Sergi Roberto, Gerard Pique, Clemo Lenglet, Jordi Alba.
Middle: Sergio Buscets, Frankie de Jong.
Midfielders: Antoine Griezmann, Philippe Coutinho, Ansu Fati.
And in the attack: Lionel Messi.
Substitutes: Ignacio Pena, Ronald Araujo, Junior Verbo, Carles Alenia, Ricky Puig, Miralem Pjanic, Pedri, Osman Dembele, Trinkau
It is reported that Barcelona will be two games behind most of the teams in the competition, including Real Madrid, the defending champion, who won four points, after the Catalan team started its campaign late due to its participation in the Champions League quarter-finals last season.