Barcelona face Eibar in the early kickoff on Saturday and they’ve been boosted by the return from injury of defender Samuel Umtiti.
The Frenchman has been named in the starting XI, as seen in the club’s tweet below, ending a lengthy spell on the sidelines due to a troublesome knee injury.
In turn, as seen in the reaction from fans below, his return is a welcome boost for many as they were delighted to see him back in contention after so long out of the side.
Time will tell if he can shrug off any rust and deliver a top performance immediately, although it may take some time for him to get back to full speed which in turn arguably makes it quite a gamble from coach Ernesto Valverde to throw him straight back in.
Nevertheless, with the quality that they possess across the pitch with the likes of Frenkie de Jong, Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez all starting, the Catalan giants will be confident of coming away with a positive result and continuing their bid to close the gap on league leaders Real Madrid.
With Barca facing a trip to Slavia Prague in the Champions League on Wednesday night, there could have perhaps been a temptation for Valverde to rotate and rest key individuals, but ultimately he has opted against that and has gone with a strong starting XI.
He’ll also be hoping that Umtiti can come through unscathed and with 90 minutes under his belt, as this will be his first outing since May for Barcelona as he steps in to replace the suspended Gerard Pique to partner compatriot Clement Lenglet in the heart of the Barca backline.
Jordi Alba also returns after missing the win over Sevilla prior to the international break, with five changes in total from Valverde.
— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) October 19, 2019
— María (@thefleafan) October 19, 2019
Glad to see big sam
— Kevin Quezada (@KevinQu12469357) October 19, 2019
big sam ?
— . (@godrijniar) October 19, 2019
— Obey Crawler (@crawlergraphics) October 19, 2019
@NdombeIesque UMTITI FRERO !!! ?
— Rïan ?? (@_RZouggar) October 19, 2019
— Nestor Martinez (@N_Martinez1012) October 19, 2019
BIG SAMMMM IS BACKKK!
— Animesh Salewala (@AnimeshSalewala) October 19, 2019
Umtiti is back
— PRAY & BELIEVE ? (@m_u_t_t_y) October 19, 2019
— King Vlad (@bry_ann_) October 19, 2019
Umititi is back. Holy moly
— Leo? (@LeoKawsar10) October 19, 2019