Barcelona team news: Sergio Busquets and three players out of clash against Juventus
What’s the story?
Barcelona will be missing the suspended Sergio Busquets and the trio of Rafinha, Aleix Vidal, and Arda Turan are all injured for the tie. Sergio Busquets picked up a yellow card against PSG in the round of 16, leading to the consequent suspension.
In case you didn’t know..
The rule according to International Football Association Board (IFAB, the body responsible for laws of the game) is - a knockout tournament any player picking up two yellow cards before the quarter-final stage misses the next game. Hence, the suspension for Sergio Busquets.
Rafinha and Aleix Vidal are both out for the season due to injury. Arda Turan hasn’t returned to training after picking up an injury during the international break.
The heart of the matter
Sergio Busquets' injury leaves Barcelona with a selection headache for the quarter-finals. Barcelona have employed a three at the back since the first leg result of the round of 16 game against PSG, and Gerard Pique, Samuel Umtiti, and Javier Mascherano have been employed at the position.
That rules out Javier Mascherano as a defensive midfielder, leaving Andre Gomes as the only cover for the position. It is quite obvious with his performance in the position, that it is not his best, and against Juventus, they need their defensive midfielder to be at his best.
Luis Enrique has to devise a plan for the defensive midfield position and provide enough cover for Andre Gomes. The alternative is to employ a back four, which would largely expose Sergi Roberto (a midfielder) as the right back.
Barcelona have probably lost their most important player in their squad due to suspension, and against a Juventus side who are known for defending very well, it can come back to bite them later.
Going away to the Old Lady might be the toughest prospects in Europe, the Bianconeri have been irresistible in the League with the front three of Mario Mandukic, Paulo Dybala, and Gonzalo Higuaín. Sergio Busquets' experience and poise will undoubtedly be missed, and it is up to Gerard Pique to lead them from the back.