I will, unfortunately, be working for this entire match. I hate that I’m going to miss it though because Emery has put out a much stronger lineup than I anticipated early in the week. I worry that this lineup might leave us more tired than what is idea against Arsenal on Thursday, but as they say the die is cast.
The last time we faced Barcelona, the 442 did not work at all and Francis Coquelin in particular was guilty of being way out of position on multiple occasions which allowed Barcelona an unbelievable amount of space in transition. Emery has course corrected this time around with a three man midfield and Coquelin on the bench. Capoue in particular has the chance to make a big difference from last time because he is a better ball winner than anyone we had on the roster the first time. It’s also worth noting that Emery’s faith in Paco seems to have been restored, and if I were to speculate onto his mindset, the run with Bacca in the lineup may have just been to ensure Paco got to this point of the season healthy. The biggest question mark is of course the selection of Alberto Moreno, who certainly has experience but is also probably our least talented left back and coming off a major injury. I like Foyth at RB in this one. His defensive presence will be needed.
Barca is in really good form and they spare nothing in this particular lineup. If I were going to try and point to a weak point, I might say Oscar Mingueza, but even he has done really well with his minutes so far this season. This looks to me like a back three from Koeman? Wouldn’t be surprised if we got a forward on for one of these defenders at some point if things aren’t going how he likes. Barca completely lacks any kind of box presence, and that’s been an issue for the side all year, but a certain Argentine forward named Messi tends to render that sort of problem a lot less impactful.
Hit us in the comments with any thoughts on the match.