Coutinho, the third striker – La Nueva España

Coutinho shoots at goal in training.

Ronald Koeman changed the game system ante el Bayern For two reasons. It is not known in what order. One was voluntary, in his perspective that Bayern could cause a rift similar to 2-8 under the thesis – finding? – that It is Barça it’s worse than the one who took it, and programmed a conservative team. The other reason was forced by injuries. He piled up defenses and midfielders because he had a lot of; he lined up just two forwards because he only had two for a tough clash: Memphis Depay and Luuk de Jong.

Now he has three forwards and will play with three. Philippe Coutinho is the third.

Memphis salutes in training. FCB

The Brazilian was already available on Tuesday in the Champions League – the young Yusuf Demir, who arrived this summer from Austria, was also eligible – but Coutinho’s was the first call-up in nine months. He was going to reappear since his farewell on December 29, 2020 against Eibar. An unfortunate night in which everything went wrong: a draw against a lesser rival, Braithwaite missed a penalty and Coutinho, who replaced Pjanic in the 65th minute, could not even finish the game. He limped off, aching in his left knee. Four days later he was operated. From a tear of the external meniscus. The same injury that had separated Ansu Fati a month and a half earlier.

Coutinho has already returned. It will not complete the 90 minutes, however. But today he is Barça’s third striker and allows Koeman to recover “the basic 4-3-3” against Granada, forced by the need to win immediately, to improve the game, to repair the image before the fans and for the least entity of the adversary with respect to Bayern. Despite the fact that the Andalusian triumph in April (1-2) ruined Barça’s options in the League.

Luuk de Jong finishes off Ter Stegen after beating Eric in a game. FCB

Koeman’s confidence

Coutinho continues at Barça at the will of Koeman, who trusts him. He scored three goals and gave two assists in the 14 games he played. He has 23 goals and 14 assists in the three seasons he has dressed as a Barça player, not counting his loan to Bayern.

The team is not going to dispense with the Brazilian’s talent while Bratihwaite, recently operated, is still out; Kun Agüero who works alone with a physiotherapist; Dembélé, still in the gym and Messiah Ansu Fati, who returns little by little from his long journey, longer than Felipe’s.


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