Before the break in the season, Barcelona’s attacking options were scarce.
Now, the picture is very different, as Quique Setien is trying to solve a dilemma he didn’t expect to have: a variety of choices up front.
Setien thus has the unenviable task of juggling the minutes of his forwards so as not to disturb any of them.
“They’re going to rotate, all the attacking players I’ve got,” said the Barcelona manager. “I hope I can give them the maximum number of minutes that I can.”
Setien means well in his plans to rotate his players who are attacking, but he would have a problem taking players out for big games.
Originally, Ousmane Dembele’s long-term injury had forced them to sign Martin Braithwaite in an emergency.
But now, with Lionel Messi’s MSG trident, Suarez and Antoine Griezmann all fit, it seems as if Braithwaite and Ansu Fati will have to wait for chances in the wings.
However, judging by their performances in opening two games back in Barcelona, leaving them both out appears difficult.
Luis Suarez was also an absent after knee surgery.
Suarez’s lack of fitness and match-sharpness has enabled both Braithwaite and Ansu Fati to play since the reinstatement of the season.
They have both played a role in two positive results thus far. The former even netted his first goal for Barcelona against Real Mallorca before the latter scored the Camp Nou opener against Leganes.
Whoever on the big occasion is left out of the starting line-up will not be happy, but Griezmann is one player who doesn’t need to worry about that.
Griezmann is undroppable for Setien, even though he is not a prolific goal scorer in Barcelona colours. In his last two appearances, the Frenchman wasn’t on top form but he seems to have his coach’s full confidence.
When they travel to the Estadio Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan to play Sevilla, the first standout fixture of their remaining matches is on Friday.
“Playing there isn’t easy, but I value other things,” Setien said of the former Atletico Madrid man. “Antoine does other things we’re profiting from.”