FC Barcelona takes it on Tuesday evening without Frenkie de Jong and Lionel Messi against Dynamo Kiev in the Champions League. The Dutchman and the Argentinian get a rest from trainer Ronald Koeman and do not travel to Ukraine.
Koeman remains confident in turnaround Barcelona
Both Messi and De Jong played ninety minutes on Saturday-evening in the lost away match against Atlético Madrid (1-0 loss) in La Liga. Koeman thinks the game with Kiev is a good time to give the two permanent workers, who played in all games this season, rest.
“Our situation in the Champions League is comfortable and De Jong and Messi need a rest. They have played many games and this is a good time not to have to use them,” said Koeman at his press conference.
“Due to the overcrowded game schedule, I sometimes have to protect my players. It is impossible to keep them all fit. Everyone knows that, but we have to keep playing. It is time for FIFA and UEFA to take a good look at that.”
FC Barcelona won the first three matches in group H and is proudly in the lead with nine points, so Koeman can afford to give De Jong and Messi a rest. A draw in Kiev is enough for the Catalans to secure a ticket for the eighth finals of the Champions League.
The absence of De Jong and Messi does mean that Barcelona will play against Dynamo Kiev in a strongly changed team. Due to injuries, Koeman does not have access to Gerard Piqué, Samuel Umtiti, Sergio Busquets, Ansu Fati and Sergi Roberto, among others.
Barcelona can use a victory, because Koeman’s team is underperforming in the competition. The current number twelve in Spain only managed to win three of the first eight league games.
Although the title is further out of sight, Koeman does not panic. “When I look at our schedule, I think we will be in better shape at the end of the year. I also don’t think it’s easier to win the Champions League now than to become champions. nice challenge.”
The match between Barcelona and Dynamo Kiev starts on Tuesday at 9 p.m. The team from Ukraine took one point in the first three group duels – thanks to a 2-2 draw against Ferencváros – and is third. Juventus-Ferencváros is the other game in the group on Tuesday.
View the program, the results and the standings in the Champions League