Barcelona’s Defensive Problems Pile Up Ahead of Sevilla

Gerard Pique

Getty Gerard Pique was left needing stitches after Leganes win

Barcelona will be without center-back Samuel Umtiti for Friday’s La Liga trip to Sevilla due to suspension, while Gerard Pique could miss out after suffering an injury against Leganes on Tuesday.

Umtiti picked up his fifth yellow card of the season on Tuesday after coming on as a substitute against Leganes which triggers an automatic one-match ban.

Umtiti went into the book on 82 minutes for a late foul on Roger Assale with Barcelona already 2-0 up and looking set for victory.

His booking brought frustration from Barcelona fans:

Luis Suarez and Arturo Vidal were the only other Barcelona players in danger of picking up a suspension. The pair both came on in the second half but avoided a booking and will be available for Friday’s match.

Pique Needs Stitches

Pique is also a doubt for Friday’s clash after getting hurt in a clash with Assale. He was able to continue after receiving some treatment on the pitch.

Manager Quique Setien was asked about Pique’s injury in his post-match press conference and said he would need stitches:

Barcelona will be hoping Pique is fit enough to start at the Ramon Sanchez-Pizjuan Stadium. The 33-year-old has been key for the Catalans once again this season and has featured in 27 of their 29 La Liga games.

Barcelona Light on Defensive Options

If Pique is fit then he’s likely to partner Clement Lenglet in defense against Sevilla, although Umtiti’s suspension leaves Barcelona light on back-up options.

Barcelona B defender Ronald Araujo is available to deputize but only made his first senior start on Saturday against Real Mallorca. Yet he did do enough to impress Setien on his full debut.

“He was playing in a different role to what he does for the B team but he was solid in every aspect. He has a very cool head and he did very well. He played superbly and he can be very proud.”

Throwing Araujo in away at third-placed Sevilla would be a huge test for the youngster in a game where Barcelona really can’t afford to drop points.

Araujo did face Sevilla earlier in the season and had a match to forget. The Uruguayan came on as a substitute and was sent off 14 minutes later after a last-man foul on Javier Hernandez.

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