A big worry now is: how will the international break affect Barça? Obviously the teams that are in a positive streak (or very positive, in our case) are those who are most upset by having to halt their activity. Plus there’s the fact that 14 Barcelona footballers have been called up by their national teams, many more than Real Madrid’s 7 or Atletico’s 11.
The first cause for concern is fatigue and injuries. Although thankfully the South Americans are staying at home, other footballers who had many minutes in their legs like Frenkie de Jong, Sergio Busquets, Jordi Alba, Pedri…are having international duties and extra trips these days.
Despite Ronald Koeman always tried to introduce as many new faces as possible as substitutes, the truth is that for his starting XIs he had been using a very thin squad, almost with 11 trusted men and that’s it — he had repeated the same line-up in 3 matches in a row. Fortunately, Gerard Pique and Sergi Roberto may be fit to play in the next fixture against Valladolid, and Ronald Araujo will now have had plenty of time to get back to his 100%.
Still, another troubling factor is how this halts our continuity as we had been in spectacular form in 2021, with 37 points out of 39 in the league. Numbers truly worthy of champions despite not being leaders (yet). We will no longer have the Champions League, unlike Madrid, but we must make sure that this 2-week break keeps our chances in La Liga intact.