Barcelona may have splashed out €120 million to bring Antoine Griezmann to the Camp Nou, but there’s no guarantee the World Cup winner will start the club’s biggest game of the season on Friday against Bayern Munich.
Manager Quique Setien is considering his team selection for the Champions League quarter-final clash in Lisbon and could revert to a 4-4-2 formation, leaving Griezmann on the bench, according to Sport’s Lluis Miguelsanz.
The 61-year-old coach thinks it “doesn’t make sense to use three forwards” and wants to pack the midfield in order to “keep hold of the ball, dominate the game and restrict a Bayern side which is extremely dangerous down both flanks.”
Griezmann started Saturday’s last-16 win over Napoli but had a quiet game and could be sacrificed with Setien going for a midfield consisting of Frenkie de Jong, Sergio Busquets, Arturo Vidal, and Sergi Roberto instead.
Juan Jimenez at AS also reports that Setien is pondering a 4-4-2 and adds that Griezmann’s position “is the only vulnerable one up front” as Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez are certain to start.
Griezmann has already been left out of the starting XI for some big games this season, including league matches against Atletico Madrid and Sevilla and Barca’s Copa del Rey clash with Athletic.
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Griezmann Has Previous Against Bayern
Yet Bayern will be all too aware that Griezmann knows exactly what it’s like to knock the German giants out of Europe’s top competition. The French forward scored a vital away goal at the Allianz Arena to send Atletico Madrid through to the final in 2015-16.
Griezmann was also on target at Napoli in the last round, scoring a crucial away goal to help hand the advantage to the Catalan giants ahead of the return fixture at the Camp Nou.
The former Atletico Madrid man has also looked sharp in Barcelona training this week ahead of the big game.
Setien Has Plenty of Options
Yet Setien has plenty of options for Friday’s clash and will need to select his team carefully. Midfielders Sergio Busquets and Arturo Vidal are both back from suspension after missing the game against Napoli.
Youngsters Ansu Fati and Riqui Puig are also fit and available. The young duo did not feature at all against the Serie A side which came as something of a surprise to most fans.
Barcelona could also have Ousmane Dembele available for the clash. The Frenchman is on his way back from a long injury lay-off but is expected to be in the squad for the game.