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FC Barcelona – La Liga: Pique back just in time


Ronald Koeman has received a welcome boost ahead of Saturday’s Copa del Rey final with the news that his defensive leader, Gerard Pique, will be ready to start the game.

Barcelona‘s defence has had its fair share of troubles this season, not helped by a series of injuries in addition to dips in form from certain players.

The absence of Pique, who has uncharacteristically missed 29 matches in 2020/21, has only added to that instability, but the good news for the Blaugrana backline is that he is now fully recovered after only being fit enough for the bench against Real Madrid.

It remains to be seen if Koeman will continue to use a back three against Athletic Club in the final or if he will revert to a 4-3-3 system, but Pique seems certain to start either way.

Pique‘s injury problems have been particularly troublesome for Koeman as Ronald Araujo has also been in the treatment room, while Samuel Umtiti and Clement Lenglet haven’t performed at the level expected of them.

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The silver lining has been the emergence of Oscar Mingueza as a reliable option at the back, but Barcelona have still had the leakiest defence of the top-four teams in LaLiga Santander, having conceded 26 goals in 30 games.





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