?Both Gerard Piqué and Samuel Umtiti are struggling with injury ahead of Barcelona’s clash with Getafe at the weekend, meaning manager Quique Setién may have to get creative with his defensive options.
The club were already without Clément Lenglet as they look to reclaim the initiative in the La Liga title race, the French defender a confirmed absence after his red card in the 3-2 victory at Real Betis on Sunday, meaning options were already thin on the ground.
Captain ?Piqué was forced off with an injury in the ?Copa Del Rey defeat to Athletic Club last week, and having sat out Saturday’s trip to Betis due to an accumulation of yellow cards, the extent of the injury was unclear.
AS have delivered news on that front, however, saying that ?Barca don’t expect him to return to full training until Thursday – meaning he is likely to be touch-and-go to start at the weekend.
The outlet note that there is even more concern surrounding Umtiti, who managed 90 minutes against Betis but is suffering from a recurrence of the knee issue which kept him out for a prolonged period last season. His knee is said to be badly swollen meaning he is unlikely to feature from the start this weekend.
All this means Setién is said to be casting an eye over 20-year-old starlet Ronald Araújo to step in and ease his dwindling options. He’s made just one senior appearance so far, but has frequented the bench, and could end up starting alongside Piqué – with the captain likely to be risked if he is nearing fitness given the lack of other senior options.
The report also notes that Sergio Busquets could be used in central defence if necessary, while Frenkie de Jong is yet to fulfil that role for Barcelona, but has done so in the past for Ajax.
In any case, it seems we are likely to see something of a makeshift defensive lineup as the Catalan giants look to repel a formidable Getafe side who trail them by just seven points in the La Liga standings.
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