Barcelona-PSG: Pique returns for Champions League clash
Ronald Koeman has announced his squad for the Champions League game against PSG with the return of Piqué after two and a half months the big news.
The return to a Barcelona squad for the first time in two and a half months of Gerard Piqué was the main novelty as Ronald Koeman announced his squad for the Champions League clash against PSG at Camp Nou. The veteran defender was initially expected to be out of action for three to four months after suffering a serious knee injury but has defied that prognosis to return to action in around 10 weeks. Now with just three training sessions under his belt he has done enough to convince the Barça medical staff and Koeman that he is fit to play.
The Barcelona manager stated in his pre-match press conference that if he selected Piqué it was because the central defender was fit to start, opening up the possibility that the 34-year-old will be thrown in to the fray to keep Kylian Mbappé under wraps on Tuesday evening.
If so, Koeman will be able to play his first-choice central defensive partnership of Piqué and Clément Lenglet, although the Frenchman has also been in and out of the side in recent weeks. Samuel Umtiti’s form and fitness since his return from a lengthy injury lay-off makes it unlikely he will be risked against one of the most dangerous forwards in world football and one of this season’s revelation promotions from La Masia, Óscar Mingueza, may have been an option to fill in in the centre but the canterano will likely be needed to cover for Sergiño Dest if the right back is not 100 percent fit to start.
Martin Braithwaite is also back in the squad after missing Barça’s last two fixtures with a muscle issue, leaving just Ansu Fati, Philippe Coutinho, Sergi Roberto and Ronald Araújo on the sidelines.
Along with the 19 senior players in his squad, Koeman has also called up Matheus Fernandes, who has only 19 minutes of first team football under his belt this season.
Barcelona squad for PSG
Ter Stegen, Neto, Dest, Junior, Lenglet, Piqué, Alba, Umtiti, De Jong, Busquets, Pjanic, Matheus, Pedri, Riqui Puig, Griezmann, Braithwaite, Dembélé, Messi, Trincao, Peña, Mingueza.