Barcelona comes up against Huesca in La Liga on Monday and goalkeeper Álvaro Fernández has been talking about what it’s like to face Ousmane Dembele and Lionel Messi in the build-up to the match.
The 22-year-old will make his first-ever appearance at the Camp Nou on Monday night but has already taken on Barcelona in January’s 1-0 defeat to the Catalan giants. Fernandez spoke to Diario Sport about what it’s like to come up against the two attackers.
“When I faced Barça, Messi obviously surprised me, but I remember saying ‘how good is Dembélé’, I was very surprised by his ease with both feet, one for one, the shot. It is impossible to defend because of the ability he has and as a goalkeeper, more of the same,” he said. “Against Sevilla, he scored a great goal with his right. He is a more unpredictable player than Messi. You know that Messi is going to forgive you very little and in that aspect, Dembélé is more indecipherable, for better and for worse. If Dembélé has a good day he is unstoppable.”
Huesca has only managed three wins all season in La Liga and sit bottom of the table, while Barca is second and can cut the gap on league leaders Atletico to four points with a victory.
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Dembele & Messi to Start?
Coach Ronald Koeman has opted to play a 3-5-2 formation in recent weeks to good effect and could continue with the same tactics on Monday. The Dutchman could go with Dembele and Messi in attack once more, particularly with Antoine Griezmann on a run of nine games without a goal.
Dembele has scored two in his last four games but was guilty of missing four clear chances the first half alone during Wednesday’s 1-1 draw with Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League.
Messi also missed a penalty but did score a brilliant goal from range to take his tally to 25 for the season in all competitions.
Fernandez Wary of Barcelona Threat
Fernandez also spoke about his team’s chances of beating Barca. Koeman’s side have overcome a poor start to put together a 16-match unbeaten run in La Liga that has reignited their title hopes.
The Huesca goalkeeper is well aware that Barca is very much a team in transition but still thinks it will be hard for his side to take away all three points on Monday night.
“They are not going through their best moment, it is clear. There are changes that have to take place and they are going through it. They are rebuilding to be one of the most feared teams again,” he explained.” It is still that club that you have few options to beat. They are a great team, a club that any player would like to join. They have a promising future, we see Koeman’s Barça as the most fit team in LaLiga.”
Huesca head into the match after going down 4-3 to Celta Vigo last time out but will be desperate for points as they battle to avoid relegation.