Tuesday, October 26, 2021

SL Benfica vs Barcelona Sep 29, 2021 Match Preview and Stats

Ronald Koeman will take his Barcelona team to face Portuguese side Benfica in the second group stage game of this season’s Champions League.

Koeman, who’s future at the club is reportedly under immense threat, suffered a 3-0 home loss to Bayern Munich in the first game of the group stages, and will be looking to bounce back.

One positive from recent times at Barcelona has been the return of Ansu Fati. The wonderkid has been out for nearly an entire year through injury, yet he’s still only 18, and he returned with a bang – scoring on his return after appearing as an 81st minute sub.

A start still seems a little way off, so Koeman won’t be able to use Fati from the off against Benfica, although he could be useful option off the bench if needed.

How will Barcelona line up?

Marc-Andre ter Stegen is the undisputed number one, and will once again start in goal. As for the back four, an injury to Jordi Alba, and Alejandro Balde as well for that matter, means that Oscar Mingueza will play at right-back, with Sergino Dest once again playing as the left-back. The USA international played there in the win over Levante so it’s not an entirely new position for him.

Ronald Araujo and Gerard Pique is the most likely centre-back partnership, but Eric Garcia may be handed a start in place of Araujo.

Pedri is a doubt following an injury picked up against Bayern, meaning a midfield double pivot of Frenkie de Jong, fresh from league suspension, and Sergio Busquets will be utilised.

17-year-old Gavi has been given minutes by Koeman, and after impressing so far, he may well start on the right, with Philippe Coutinho as the No.10, and Memphis Depay on the left.

Luuk de Jong will lead the line, with the likes of Ousmane Dembele and Martin Braithwaite injured, while, as mentioned before, Fati will be on the substitutes bench to start with.
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