On Sunday night, Barcelona welcome Levante to the Camp Nou in a match that they must win if they want to be anywhere near the top 4 by the end of the day. They will be looking to snap up all three points and bounce back from the home defeat to a Cristiano Ronaldo-led Juventus in the UEFA Champions League in midweek.
Ronald Koeman’s men suffered two consecutive defeats both in the league against Cadiz and in Europe against Andrea Pirlo’s Juve. Koeman will then be looking forward to clinching a win at the weekend in a bid to lift the spirits in the dressing room.
The Spanish giant Barcelona is facing deep distress as they have initiated a drastic change in the team line up. They have just released the Uruguay striker Luis Suarez just after their awful result in the recent past. Lionel Messi who is the icon of Barcelona also had to think about his career after the miserable results in some of the matches in the recent past. But now someone has appeared in front to speak out for the players and that’s Gerard Pique. He kept his silence intact for long and hadn’t spent a single word on these circumstances. Finally, he has broken his silence and has brought his thoughts on the matter in front of the management as well as the supporters.
In one of his interviews with La Vanguardia, the reliable center back has given his views on several matters but the most interesting matter was the acts of Ernesto Valverde as he axed upon some of the key players of the team and also Messi had to think on the dicey position of the club about him.
Barcelona manager Quique Seiten is not bothered by the downfall of Messi’s number of goals when compared to other seasons. He says that the Argentinian is contributingmore to the club than merely scoring goals. Even though he is the top goalscorer in the current season with 22 goalsthis is the least number of goals scored by the player than in any other season.
His previous lowest goalscorer was in the 2008–2009 season and in the current season, he still has two more matches left to play whether he will get to score or not is doubtful. His previous scores from 2015 to 2019 are 26, 37,34 and 36 and his current score is lesser than the previous ones.
Ivan Rakitic has said that he will be staying in Barcelona for another yearas there has been speculation that he will be leaving the club. In the 2019–2020 season, his playing time in the regular team has been reduced which has brought a bit of frustration upon him. He was transferred from Sevilla in 2014 for £16 million.
Since his arrival, he has made 299 appearances and scored 35 goals. During this time period, he has established himself as one of the best midfielders. With Barcelona, he has won four La Liga titles and a Champions League title.
Former Liverpool star Stan Collymore believes Chelsea boss Frank Lampard should avoid signing Philippe Coutinho from Barcelona during the summer transfer window. The Brazil international is presently on a season-long loan at Bayern Munich but he is expected to return to the Camp Nou at the end of the campaign.
Speaking to The Mirror, Collymore said that signing Coutinho would be a mistake for the west London side and Lampard should stay away from the playmaker. He added that the player would benefit teams such as Wolverhampton Wanderers and West Ham United and branded the 27-year-old as one of the most overrated attacking midfielders.
Former Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger believes Barcelona will struggle to win this season’s Champions League, given they don’t have the required creativity from the centre of the park. The Catalan giants recently picked up a 1-1 draw from the away leg of the Champions League round of 16 against Napoli but their performance was not overly impressive despite their dominant possession stats.
on BeIN Sports, Wenger acknowledged that the Blaugrana are not well placed in
the pursuit of the Champions League title and believes they can be exploited in
the midfield department, where they have lacked regular goalscorers, he told: “I
would agree (that they aren’t good enough to win it. This Barcelona side on
average since the start of the season has similar numbers to Napoli.
Barcelona defender Nelson Semedo has said that the Blaugrana must improve with their overall performances in order to win the Champions League title this season. The Blaugrana previously won the elite competition in 2015 and they have since failed at the quarter-final stage on three occasions while missing out on the final to eventual champions Liverpool last term.
in a press conference, Semedo said that there is room for improvement in the
defensive point of view following a shock 3-1 defeat to Levante at the weekend.
He added that the Blaugrana were previously on a seven-match winning run prior
to the defeat but they have set standards whereby they can’t afford any
setbacks in between.
Barcelona defender Clement Lenglet is confident that Antoine Griezmann can become a regular contributor for the Blaugrana once he has been able to adapt to the style of play. The France international has already scored three goals since his move away from Atletico Madrid last summer but in between those efforts, he has gone through periods, where he has struggled to make an impression.
to radio station RAC1, Lenglet said that Griezmann has been introduced to a
different game at the Spanish champions and he should adapt to the team’s
formation during the forthcoming months, he told: “Yes, Griezmann will adapt to
Barca, because of his talent and his personal quality. It’s a totally different
game to Atletico. There are fewer spaces to run into when attacking, and you
have to adapt to a new life, a new home, many things which you are not
accustomed to, because he has not been at many clubs. The league started a
month and a half ago and he has scored three goals.”
manager Ernesto Valverde has indicated that Philippe Coutinho could remain at
the Camp Nou beyond the La Liga transfer deadline. The midfielder was recently
touted to make a return to the Premier League with Tottenham Hotspur, but it
appears that he turned down the approach to stay put with the Catalans giants.
reporters, Valverde said that Coutinho remains an influential player within the
club’s ranks and he was absent during the friendly because of the short
turnaround following his vacation. The Spanish tactician added that he cannot
predict the future of the Brazil international, but he is optimistic that the
27-year-old will continue to ply his trade with the Blaugrana next term.
The father of Neymar has stressed that he
has no plans to negotiate with Barcelona regarding the attacker’s return to the
Camp Nou. The 27-year-old made the world-record switch to Paris Saint-Germain
from the Blaugrana nearly two years ago, but the move has not quite worked out
for the Brazilian, who has been deemed to be unsettled in the French capital.
As such, there has been regular speculation
over the past few months linking the Brazilian with a return to the Camp Nou
but his father has insisted that does not remain the case at the present
moment, he said: “I’m not going to Barcelona to negotiate. I am in Brazil and I
will stay here until we return to Paris with my son.”
Neymar was due to participate for Brazil at
the Copa America but the same could not happen after he sustained an injury
during the lead-up to the tournament. Nonetheless, he has been hanging around
the team providing moral support and it remains to be seen whether the host
nation manage to secure the continental title this time around.
Meanwhile, the speculation linking Neymar with the Blaugrana has only intensified over the past few days despite there being no discussion between the clubs. According to AS, Barcelona boss Ernesto Valverde is understood to have given the green light to pursue both Antoine Griezmann and Neymar to strengthen the attack, although that could witness few departures from the club.
The club have already sanctioned the permanent sale of Denis Suarez but there could be further exits to balance the books. Among the high-profile players, Philippe Coutinho has been touted to head through the exit door with former club Liverpool and Paris Saint-Germain identified as potential destinations. Coutinho managed just five league goals during the previous campaign for the Spanish champions.