The situation of the Barça squad is alarming. The team was planted in San Paolo yesterday with only 14 first-team soccer player listings. The situation will be worse on their return as Sergio Busquets – who saw the third yellow card in an unnecessary action by the Badia del Vallès midfielder – and Arturo Vidal – who was ejected after seeing two yellow cards in the same action: missing and head-to-head feud with Portuguese Napoli defender Mário Rui- will not be in the Camp Nou duel. The two midfield absences are sure to return. But the immediate news remains to be seen if Quique Setién will be able to count on Gerard Piqué, who finished the injured game yesterday.
Piqué, who suffered a left ankle blow in the final minutes of the match, is the last to add to the injury list for Barça nursing. “Right now I can’t tell you what he has, it’s just a blow to the ankle,” is all Quique Setién said after the game. Barça have long-term casualties Luis Suárez and, in particular, Ousmane Dembélé, and, in periods between three and four weeks of recovery, Jordi Alba (who injured his right thigh adductor February 15 against Getafe) and Sergi Roberto (who suffered a similar injury to that of Hospitalet’s side in Monday’s training, just before traveling to Naples).
The club did not report yesterday the extent of Piqué’s injury, which had to be replaced by Lenglet in the added minutes at the end of the game. At first, it seemed that Pique was seriously injured, but he left the field on his own foot, despite his lameness. The dependence on the Catalan central is so high that alarms have already been lit, thinking that it could be low against Madrid in Sunday’s game at Santiago Bernabéu in which Barça will defend the league lead, which now has two points. more than the white set.
Busquets criticizes the planning
Busquets, who will be one of the absentees on the return leg due to a penalty, valued the numerous losses that affect the team and sent a dart aimed at the top instances of the club. “We know we could have some casualties on the return leg, the Nélson [Semedo] and I was admonished. Arthur [Vidal] He has also been kicked out … Unfortunately we do not have a very long squad, for reasons of planning and also for the casualties that we are having. Now Geri’s has been added [Piqué], but hopefully nothing serious and there are still many days to go and surely we can count on him. But hey, we have to face what is left of the season for who we are and look forward to passing this tie on the return leg, “said the second Barça captain. Busquets also termed the goal scored as a “bad luck” move after Junior’s slip.
“We work with what we have, we can’t do anything anymore,” said Setién. “On the return we will not play with 10 or with 9. We will find solutions to compensate for the absences of Busquets and Arturo Vidal.” The Barça manager also described the draw as just: “It’s a draw away from home, a good result. I really value the defensive work of Naples, with 10 players in their area, closing all spaces. It is true that we did not generate chances. It was a matter of patience, and in the end we found the goal. “
More than patience, Barça will need an act of faith for the thirteen league games remaining for the end of the season, beginning with a visit to the Santiago Bernabéu and with everything in play in the Champions League.