EUROPEAN FOOTBALL

Oriol Romeu Likely to be Benched against Porto in UCL

FC BARCELONA

Today, Barcelona will go for Portugal in order to face Porto in the second round of their UEFA Champions League group stages.

It is obvious that numerous members of the team are not performing at their peak level. Several athletes have also missed extended periods of time due to injuries, most recently Raphinha and Frenkie de Jong.

Oriol Romeu Doubtful

Oriol Romeu is one guy who appears to have slowed down a little bit recently. The Spanish midfielder had a strong start to the season. He was always Xavi’s first choice as the defensive midfielder, but recently, he has struggled.

Oriol Romeu against Mallorca in particular was notable for all the wrong reasons. At the hour mark, the coach hooked Fermin Lopez.

His involvement in the match against Porto, according to Javi Miguel, remains questionable. With Ilkay Gundogan starting at position six, the 32-year-old may once again come off the bench.

When Barça seeks greater control over a squad famed for lethal counterattacks, the German may be expected to repeat the performance he made in that capacity against Sevilla over the weekend.

Gundogan will have Fermin Lopez and Gavi in front of him as central midfielders because Pedri and de Jong are sidelined due to injuries.

Is Benching the Right Option?

Mehdi Taremi and Wenderson Galeno, among others, are predicted to cause mayhem if given enough time and space since Porto are specialists in transitions.

Barcelona may pay a price if they play without a defensively sound pivot (Oriol Romeu) in this match.

Although Gundogan is definitely one of the world’s brightest players, he will struggle to defend.

Furthermore, Barcelona won’t have much extra coverage on the sides, with both Joao Cancelo and Alejandro Balde slated to start. Romeu’s defensive prowess and movement may make the difference in a close game like this.

The best option for all of Xavi is to start Gundogan in an advanced role. The seasoned player is an expert at third-man runs. That sounds like a way to get past Porto’s low block, especially when combined with his vision in the final third.

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