Barça: 38 unused subs; 4 times as many as Real Madrid and Atlético
The lack of trust Luis Enrique has in his bench is clear to see when the number of substitutions he makes is compared with those of Zidane and Simeone.
Luis Enrique has hardly been an advocate of squad depth this season. The Asturian coach is far more averse to looking to what options he has available on the bench compared with Diego Simeone and Zinedine Zidane.
Barça have been involved in 52 matches up until this point (LaLiga, Champions League and Copa del Rey) and have only used 118 of the 156 substitutes available to them. Critics of the former Celta manager attribute the team’s recent drop off in form (Deportivo game aside) to fatigue stemming from the lack of changes being made. Alarmingly, Luis Enrique stuck with his starting line-ups from start to finish in los culés´ two league encounters against Valencia.
The Barcelona boss’ unwillingness to replace players stands in stark contrast with his two counterparts at Real Madrid and Atlético, which could explain why the two teams from the capital have looked sharper than los azulgranas in recent weeks.
Atlético have only discarded 11 changes from the 150 available to them since the 2015/16 campaign kicked off in August. Five subs have gone unused by Cholo in LaLiga, while the Argentine has only foregone the chance to bring on an extra pair of fresh legs once in the Champions League. The exception to this rule came when in the Copa del Rey when the Atleti starting XI finished the second leg clash against Reus.
Real Madrid have called the fourth official into action the most of the three teams, having only discarded ten subs all season (eight in the league and two in the Champions League).