Barcelona turn attention back to Champions League after Clasico defeat

Barcelona were back in training on Monday to prepare for Wednesday’s clash with Juventus in the Champions League after most of the squad were given the day off on Sunday.

There was a mixed training session yesterday which saw first-teamers such as Martin Braithwaite, Junior Firpo, Riqui Puig and Carles Aleñá join in with B teamers including Iñaki Peña, Konrad and Santiago Ramos Mingo after their game with Olot was called off due to Covid-19.

Yet the focus is now on the trip to Turin to take on a Juventus side that were held at home by Verona on Sunday night. Juve have now drawn the last three league games they’ve actually played (so ignoring the 3-0 win they were handed against Napoli).

Andrea Pirlo is still yet to taste defeat as Juve boss but his side haven’t been totally convincing and he could be without some key men for Wednesday’s clash.

Defenders Leonardo Bonucci, Matthijs de Ligt and Giorgio Chiellini are injury doubts, while it’s not clear if Cristiano Ronaldo will be cleared to play after testing positive for Covid-19 on international duty.

The Portugal international is also under scrutiny after reportedly breaking coronavirus protocols:

Yet Barca will also be without a couple of key men for the game too. Gerard Pique is suspended after being sent off against Ferencvaros, while Philippe Coutinho is out with a hamstring injury.

It will be interesting to see how Koeman replaces Coutinho in his line-up, and the Dutch coach certainly doesn’t lack for options with players such as Pedri, Ousmane Dembele, Francisco Trincao and Riqui Puig all available.

Koeman heads into the match under a bit of pressure too. Wins over Villarreal and Celta have been quickly forgotten in the wake of disappointing defeats to Getafe and Real Madrid.

The two games between Juve and Barca are expected to determine which team tops Group G ahead of the knockout stages. A victory on Wednesday would give Barca a much-needed boost after a demoralising Clasico defeat, while another defeat would simply pile on more misery.

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