FC Barcelona will face Alavés this Saturday in the 12th round of the League. It will be the first game for the Catalans without Ronald Koeman on the bench after being dismissed after the defeat in Vallecas. His position will be occupied, momentarily, by Sergi Barjuan.
Let’s see the possible alignment that the interim of Barça can draw to try to take the three points.
There are no doubts in the goal. Barça may have lost defensive strength and that Ter Stegen does not make as many miraculous saves as in previous seasons, but the German goalkeeper is a fixture under the sticks and has the position assured.
The right-back could be re-occupied by Mingueza, who has not played since he was substituted at halftime in the Clásico. The youth squad is having irregular performances but Barjuán would bet on him since Sergi Roberto is not performing as expected of him either.
Eric García is leaving much to be desired, he is making mistakes and loses improper balls for a Barcelona defender, but there is no more to choose from. He has to regain confidence and be more confident on the pitch or else the games will be even more complicated for Barcelona.
He is not the Piqué we all knew, the seams are showing, although his skills to lead the defense are still intact and he adds character to the team. However that is not enough, Barça needs the best Piqué to avoid suffering in defense.
Jordi Alba is not in his best version either, but there is no one to replace him on that left-handed side. He must be more incisive in attack since his incorporations on the wing and his centers are another weapon for Barça.
This Busquets is not the same as we see with the Spanish team. We will see if from now on the next coach helps him to get a better version. Still it is irreplaceable, except for great surprise.
With Frenkie de Jong still out, Nico could repeat in the eleven after starting from the beginning also in Vallecas where he was one of the best of the team. Although it should not be ruled out that now that Koeman has left, Riqui Puig can play.
Another youth squad that we will almost certainly see in the eleven is Gavi. The midfielder is becoming a fixture in the face of so much loss and brings freshness and character to the team, although it is not necessary to demand that he be the one who takes Barça out of this situation.
Ansu Fati still does not train with the group and it is most likely that he will not be available to receive Alavés. In that case Sergiño Dest could play upstairs, something that he already tried with Koeman with more shadows than lights.
The other end will be Memphis Depay. Despite the fact that the Dutchman was a request from Koeman, there does not seem to be anyone in the squad who can take away his position in the eleven. We will see if with the relay on the bench he begins to score goals and be more important for his team.
The eleven would be completed by Kun Agüero, who made his debut as a starter in Vallecas with the Barça shirt with more heart than head. The Argentine is showing the downtime and needs minutes to pick up the rhythm of the competition. We’ll see how many Barjuan gives him.
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