Concern grows over Piqué and Umtiti's yellow cards as Barcelona's schedule heats up
Ernesto Valverde's options after his first three defenders is very thin and Piqué and Umiti are on the brink of suspensions for their yellow card count.
Gerard Piqué and Samuel Umtiti were booked on Saturday night at San Mames during Barcelona's 0-2 victory over Athletic Bilbao. The Spanish defender went in the book first, followed by the French international although the latter was lucky not to receive his marching orders for sarchastically clapping the referee's decision to book him.
Both players sit dangerously close, four cards each, to an accumulation of yellows, which would result in a ban, as the season starts to gather pace with Ernesto Valverde needing every help he can get to maintain Barcelona's excellent start to life under the manager.
The next clash for Barcelona comes on Saturday when Eduardo Berizzo and Sevilla travel to the Camp Nou, which is followed by an international break. The culés then travel to Madrid where they will play Leganés, who are off to a flying start in LaLiga this season. Then, the biggest test of the season awaits, as Marcelino's Valencia await them at the Mestalla.
Umtiti and Piqué are both first choice with the former playing eight games this year, the latter playing in seven and Mashcerano, their replacement, playing in five. Thomas Vermaelan has not yet made his debut and after the first three on the list, options become very thin for Valverde.