After Barcelona‘s remontada against Sevilla in the Copa del Rey, Ronald Koeman and his men have switched focus to La Liga and their bid to put pressure on leaders Atletico Madrid. For that to happen, as noted by Diario Sport, they can’t afford any setbacks, but tonight’s assignment against Osasuna could offer two.
Both Lionel Messi and Frenkie de Jong, two of Barcelona’s best performers this season, are a booking away from a suspension. If either pick up a card this evening, they’ll miss the game against Huesca next weekend. To deal with this, the logical course of action would be to try and ensure that they both aren’t booked in the same game, as the Huesca game is a bonafide banana skin. After Huesca come Real Sociedad and Real Valladolid.
Then comes El Clasico, the biggest game of the season whenever it’s played but especially when it comes at the business end of a title race. Paradoxically, Koeman will hope that both players serve their suspension ahead of the clash with Real Madrid to ensure they arrive to that game clean. But it’s not an easy situation to manage, as every game is crucial this season.