Gerard Pique is suspended due to a red card and Javier Mascherano is ill, so who is going to partner Samuel Umtiti in the center of defense? That’s the question for FC Barcelona to answer as they prepare to face Olympiacos in the UEFA Champions League.
Logically, Thomas Vermaelen should play, right? After all, he is the fourth centerback in the squad. Well, according to today’s Mundo Deportivo, it might not be the case.
This is because Vermaelen missed the last match, the 2-0 triumph over Athletic Bilbao, with a hip injury. He did play in the cup but perhaps he will not be trusted for 90 minutes in a Champions League away match.
That leaves Lucas Digne as the candidate to start, with Jordi Alba playing at left-back. Digne has played as a CB in a three-man defense for Barcelona, and he was almost going to play in the middle of a back four against Las Palmas last season, until an injury to Mascherano forced Luis Enrique to shuffle the deck.
This just makes you wonder: why did Barcelona lobby Vermaelen to stay, given his injury history? Shouldn’t they have kept Marlon Santos instead, or signed someone else?