Barcelona are back in Champions League action this week as they travel to Italy to face Napoli in the first leg of their round-of-16 tie.
The Catalan giants enjoyed a productive weekend domestically as they moved two points clear of rivals Real Madrid in the La Liga title race with just 13 games to go.
They’ll now switch their focus to Europe in midweek, and given their bitter disappointments in this competition in recent years, they’ll be desperate to put it right this time round.
It won’t be easy against a Napoli side finding some form under Gennaro Gattuso having won four of their last five Serie A outings, but with the quality included in the squad called up by Quique Setien, as seen in the club’s tweet below, they’ll be confident of doing their job.
As per the club’s site, Luis Suarez, Ousmane Dembele, Jordi Alba and Sergi Roberto all miss out due to injury, hence the inclusion of a number of youth players.
However, as seen in the replies below, many Barcelona fans were questioning why recent signing Martin Braithwaite was included in the travelling party given he can’t feature as he is not registered to play in the Champions League.
It seems like a smart decision in truth as he’ll have the opportunity to continue to work with his new teammates and build chemistry with them as he looks to make a positive impact domestically between now and the end of the season.
Instead of remaining back in Barcelona, he’ll no doubt work with the coaching staff and prepare to be involved against Real Madrid this weekend in a crunch showdown between the two title rivals, and so the decision to take him along is surely understandable.
That said, if there was an option to include another player who is eligible to feature, then perhaps it seems slightly questionable as to why Barcelona would limit their options and deny them that opportunity.
— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) February 23, 2020
Why is Braithwaite in the squad? Thought he can’t play in the cl
— 5’7 (@CurrentlyBrok3) February 23, 2020
If braithwaite cant play then why are we taking him?
— The Critical Cule (@visca_fcb100917) February 23, 2020
why is braithwaite in squad list when he can’t play in the champions league?
— hamid.fadayee (@HFadayee) February 23, 2020
Why is he in the squad then…?
— Rian (@Skittleyy) February 23, 2020
Then why you included him in the squad
— Movie Man (@abjaleelk) February 23, 2020
Not registered so why is he included??
— O?????? (@Osman_Jd) February 23, 2020