Barça must measure its euphoria against Galatasaray

Barça must measure its euphoria against Galatasaray

The Turks, with ex-blaugrana Domènec Torrent, want to refloat at the Camp Nou

BARCELONA, March 9. (Royals Blue) –

FC Barcelona receives Galatasaray this Thursday at the Camp Nou (9:00 pm) in the first leg of the Europa League round of 16, a match in which the Blaugrana are clear favourites, and more so with their good form, but where they will have to watch with a possible excess of euphoria before some very touched Turks.

It seems that it should be the other way around, but Napoli was the previous tough rival in the ‘Play-off’ and, now, Barça is measured in the next step towards the possible final against a Galatasaray much inferior to the Neapolitans. And, therefore, they will be a trap to deactivate.

In a clash of similar styles, quality must prevail and Barça will try to take advantage of playing at home first to, with their fans, achieve a result that does not make the team suffer more than necessary in the second leg, in an Ali Sami Yen who has seen Marseille, Lazio and Lokomotiv Moscow suffer in this Europa League.

Galatasaray is not doing well in their league, twelfth and closer to relegation than to the top positions. Hence, Domènec Torrent arrived at the club in January, with a clear game philosophy marked by his previous work with Pep Guardiola at Barça, Bayern Munich and Manchester City.

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With ‘Dome’, the team is already improving in its game and somewhat in results, despite the fact that it comes from losing at Konyaspor’s home. Torrent wants to impose his style, very similar to that of the Barça of a Xavi Hernández whom he visited in Qatar to learn from him, although at Barça the one from Terrassa was Torrent’s pupil, in Guardiola’s coaching staff.

As confirmed by Xavi himself in the preview, they are friends who are now destined to face each other, to measure themselves, in a Europa League where Barça is looking for a title that it does not have and a ticket to the next ‘Champions’, while the Turks are looking for redemption and a possible source of joy given that, in the Ottoman lita, all is lost.

Away from the confrontation on the benches, Barça is the clear favourite, far superior to the rival, even though in Europe the ‘Galata’ version is much better. Without Dani Alves, not registered, nor Gavi, suspended, more changes are craved in the Catalans’ starting eleven, but Xavi has already pointed out that the options of going for the rival and for the opening victory will not diminish.

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In fact, the changes can serve as a springboard for players who press in training, or coming off the bench, to have more minutes. Thus, Eric Garcia, Nico, Riqui Puig or Luuk De Jong could enjoy a new opportunity, either at the start or as a shock.

On the Turkish side, there will be no return of Arda Turan to the Camp Nou, where the brilliant Ottoman player was no longer able to display the magic that he did have at Atlético de Madrid. But, at Galatasaray, he also has no continuity and is not called up.

Yes, it is, and goalkeeper Iñaki Peña, on loan from Barça and with whom Xavi could count from next season, is aiming to start. He is facing his great opportunity, even if it is at the cost of having to endanger the team with which he has a contract.



FC BARCELONA: Ter Stegen; Dest, Pique, Eric Garcia, Jordi Alba; F. Of Jong, Nico, Riqui Puig; Adama, L. De Jong, and Aubameyang.

GALATASARAY: Iñaki Peña; Boey, Nelsson, Marcão, Van Aanholt; Thumb, Berkan Kutlu; Cicaldau, Feghouli, Kerem Akturkoglu; and Gomis.

–REFEREE: Benoit Bastien (FRA).

–STADIUM: Camp Nou.

–TIME: 21.00/Movistar.

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