Can Semedo and Roberto play together for Barcelona?

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Barcelona are lucky in that they have quality players all over the pitch and a genuine issue with accommodating all of them happily each season.

There are bound to be passengers and those that just can’t get into the side, try as they might.

Though Nelson Semedo and Sergi Roberto don’t really fall into that bracket, neither is playing as much as they should. Continue reading

Barcelona to rest stars as they push for Champions League glory

 

 

 

Lionel Messi

Barcelona boss Ernesto Valverde was firm in his commitment to pushing for further glory, after his side wrapped up an eighth La Liga title in the last 11 seasons.

A 1-0 win at home to Levante means the Catalan side have secured their title defence, with three league games to spare before the end of the 2018-19 season.

The former Athletic Bilbao coach will now focus his squad’s energies on completing a first treble since 2015. Continue reading

Barcelona linked with shock move for Alberto Moreno

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Barcelona have been linked a surprise summer move for Liverpool defender Alberto Moreno, as they look to find cover for Jordi Alba ahead of the 2019-20 La Liga season.

Ernesto Valverde’s side have been rumoured to be keen on a number of left backs in recent months, as the former Athletic Bilbao boss looks to establish permanent cover for Alba.

With their interest rebuffed for Atletico Madrid’s Filipe Luis, La Blaugrana have struggled to attract players on the premise of playing a supporting role for the Catalan side next season.

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Barcelona linked with Arsenal’s Nacho Monreal

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La Liga leaders Barcelona have been linked with a shock move for Arsenal defender Nacho Monreal, according to media reports in Spain.

The Spanish international is rumoured to be interesting Ernesto Valverde’s side, in a story by Catalan newspaper Diario Sport, this morning.

Despite tying current first choice left back Jordi Alba to a long term deal at the end of February, cover in the position has been a real concern for La Blaugrana at times this season.

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Is Sergi Roberto in danger of losing his place at Barcelona?

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It took Sergi Roberto an age to break through at Barcelona, but thanks to his persistence and utter belief in what he had to offer, eventually all of his hard work paid off.

For a few years now, Roberto has been a member of the first-team squad, and because of his versatility, he’s rarely left out of the starting XI when Ernesto Valverde is putting his team together.

Steeped in Blaugrana, and the last La Masia graduate to truly make an impact in the senior side, Sergi has become something of a standard bearer for all subsequent academy players at the club. Continue reading

Barcelona looking for Coutinho improvement in 2019

Barcelona head into 2019 as La Liga leaders, with Ernesto Valverde chasing a second successive league title since taking over.

They lead rivals Atletico Madrid by three points, but the former Athletic Bilbao boss knows his players will have to go up a gear if they are to compete domestically and in Europe in the second half of the season.

Many of the squad are having solid, but unspectacular seasons, with the individual brilliance of Lionel Messi and Ousmane Dembele often making the key differences in recent weeks.

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Could Alena’s emergence see Suarez/Rafinha moved on?

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Having patiently waited for an opportunity to become part of the first-team squad on a regular basis at Barcelona, Carles Alena finally appears ready to emerge from the shadows.

The 20-year-old is over his injury and playing consistently well, and the recent acknowledgment by the club that they won’t send him out on loan suggests that they have big plans for a player who is coveted by other teams.

Mauricio Pochettino was recently at a Barcelona B fixture, and the rumours, though unsubstantiated, were that he had come specifically to watch Alena. Continue reading

La Liga Weekend Picks – Round 9

cheryshev2The next round of La Liga fixtures is all set for this weekend, and so it is now time to take a look at which players may be worth giving a second look for inclusion into your fantasy teams over the coming days. La Liga bottom club Huesca face a difficult trip yo Espanyol, and while that may prove a tough test for the hosts they do not have the worst goalscoring record in the league. Villarreal, Valencia and Getafe have all been disappointing in front of goal this term, netting just six goals each so far. Atletico Madrid, on the other hand, are the only side in the top six yet to reach double figures with their nine successful strikes so far, while Barcelona have scored the most on 10 – just a shade ahead of league leaders Sevilla on 18. Real Betis have scored the least in the league, though, with just five strikes. With that in mind, let’s take a 4-4-2 and get cracking.

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Tottenham need more than Kane to beat Barcelona

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Injuries to key players in Mauricio Pochettino’s Tottenham side couldn’t have come at a worse time for the north Londoners.

If losing Dele Alli wasn’t bad enough, to hear that Christian Eriksen, Serge Aurier, Jan Verthongen and Moussa Dembele were out too would likely have sent even the most optimistic Spurs fan into meltdown.

Hugo Lloris returns in goal in one bit of good news for ‘Poch,’ who will be heavily reliant on the talismanic Harry Kane doing the business. Continue reading

Defensive issues remain a concern for Barcelona

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Barcelona slipped to their first La Liga defeat of the season in midweek, going down to a shock 2-1 loss to struggling Leganes.

Ernesto Valverde’s side remain top of the table, as Real Madrid slipped to a 3-0 defeat away at Sevilla, but he will be concerned with their leakiness in defence.

The defending La Liga champions have now failed to keep a clean sheet in their last four domestic games, including wins over Huesca and Real Sociedad, a draw with Girona and the loss to Leganes.

The former Athletic Bilbao boss has rotated his back four in those games, with injuries and suspensions forcing his hand at times.

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