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Pique, the good news from Koeman

Finally good news for Barça and Ronald Koeman with the return of Gerard Piqué.

Ronald Koeman received a welcome boost ahead of Saturday’s Copa del Rey final with the news that his defensive leader Gerard Pique will be ready to start the game.

Barcelona’s defense have had their fair share of problems this season, unaided by a string of injuries in addition to drops in form from some players.

The absence of Pique, who unusually missed 29 games in 2020/21, has only added to that instability, but the good news for the Blaugrana backline is that he’s now fully recovered after being enough fit for the bench against Real Madrid.

It remains to be seen whether Koeman will continue to use a back three against Athletic Club in the final or revert to a 4-3-3 system, but Pique seems certain to start either way.

Pique’s injury issues were particularly troublesome for Koeman as Ronald Araujo was also in the treatment room, while Samuel Umtiti and Clement Lenglet did not perform to the level expected of them.

The silver lining was Oscar Mingueza, who remains a reliable option at the back, but Barcelona have always had the most elusive defense of La Liga’s top four teams after conceding 26 goals in 30 games.

The Catalan defender is keen to help his side in the latter part of the 2020/21 season, but the Dutch coach has made it clear that he will not take any unnecessary risks and rush his player back to action.

The Barcelona defender suffered a ligament sprain in his side’s Copa del Rey semi-final second leg against Sevilla.

Saturday’s Coupoe du Roi final offers Barça a great opportunity to win a title this season, after a fairly mixed campaign.

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