BARCELONA

Koeman's Getafe preparations complicated by international break

Barcelona coach Ronald Koeman will be without several key players until Thursday due to international commitments.

Koeman's Getafe preparations complicated by international break

Ronald Koeman’s preparations for Saturday’s clash with Getafe will be complicated by the fact that he will not have all his players at his disposal until Thursday at the earliest due to the international break.

Lionel Messi will be among the last to return from international duty following Argentina’s game against Bolivia in La Paz on Tuesday. The captain will only be back in time for Thursday’s session scheduled for 5.30pm, meaning he will only have two sessions to prepare before the Getafe clash on Saturday.

Due to the circumstances, and taking into account the added effort that will be required to play at 3,000 meters above sea level in La Paz, Koeman may opt to leave Messi on the bench for the game against Getafe.

The Dutch coach will be also be conscious of the fact that Barcelona play their opening Champions League encounter against Hungarian club Ferencvaros four days later, which will be followed by El Clásico on 25 October.

Messi in action for Argentina against Ecuador on 8 October.

Seven other Barcelona players not back until Thursday

But Messi will not be the only player returning as late as Thursday, with Clement Lenglet, Antoine Griezmann, Martin Braithwaite, Francisco Trincao, Miralem Pjanic, Philippe Coutinho and Ronald Araujo also tied up with international commitments until Wednesday. 

Although Koeman could decide to give some of these players – particularly the South Americans – an extra day’s rest, meaning they would not rejoin training until Friday.

Meanwhile, Spanish internationals, Sergio Busquets, Ansu Fati, Sergi Roberto, Pedri, Iñaki Peña and Riqui Puig, are set to rejoin the group for Wednesday’s morning session.