On 16 February, Barcelona will welcome Paris Saint-Germain to the Camp Nou for the first leg of the Round of 16 in the Champions League. The two teams know each other quite well and there are plenty of familiar faces on both sides.
Both are also in transitional periods respectively with the Catalans still trying to find their footing under Ronald Koeman and PSG starting a brand new era under Mauricio Pochettino. Needless to say, Koeman will want to get to February in the best possible form and with his players fit and firing on all cylinders.
This, of course, means having Ansu Fati in the squad as well. Initially, it seemed like the young prodigy would most likely miss the clash but according to a new report from Marcelo Bechler, there is optimism that the 18-year-old could indeed make a full recovery by the time the game rolls in.
It goes without saying that having Fati in the team would be a huge boost for Barcelona and his unpredictability, pace and eye for a goal would go a long way towards edging past the Parisiens once more.
But even with him back, it will undoubtedly be a tough challenge for Koeman, maybe even the biggest one yet, and it will be interesting to see how he sets up his team to face it.
One other aspect that needs to be taken into account is match sharpness. Even if Fati gets the medical green light in time to face PSG, the questions remain – will he be ready to do so? And would it be the smartest thing to just throw him into the fire straight after a long injury?
Either way, Koeman has some work to do and while this is definitely great news for the Catalans, they should still move forward with caution.
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