Things are finally looking to be on the up over in Catalonia.
Barcelona have won their last three games across all competitions, including a brilliant comeback against Inter Milan in the midweek Champions League fixture, and that was exactly what the doctor ordered.
After all, Ernesto Valverde’s troops drew their European opener against Borussia Dortmund at Signal Iduna Park and anything other than a victory at the Camp Nou in the next game would’ve likely been perceived as a disaster.
But despite going 1-0 down in the opening couple of minutes, courtesy of a defensive blunder and Lautaro Martinez’s superb finish, the Blaugrana clawed their way back and turned the tides in their favour in the second half.
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Currently, that gives them a total of four points under their belts, the same as Borussia Dortmund who won their game against Slavia Prague on the road.
For the time being, however, Barcelona will have to turn their gaze towards La Liga once again, where they are still playing catch-up to both Atletico Madrid and current league leaders, Real Madrid.
This Sunday, the Catalans will host Sevilla at the Camp Nou, a dangerous outfit from Andalusia who are currently sitting fifth in the table, one spot behind Barcelona themselves with the same tally of points.
Nonetheless, that game has excitement written all over it and, for that very reason, Valverde will definitely have to consider making a bold choice with his starting lineup come Sunday evening.
Luis Suarez was clinical against Inter Milan, scoring a brace and alongside Lionel Messi, being the main catalyst for Barcelona’s heroic comeback. But even with those two goals, the Uruguayan’s performance was still somehow lacking.
It does sound really weird to talk about a player underperforming when he’s scored two goals on the night but Suarez is a really interesting case over in Catalonia. Sure, he rattled the inside of the net twice and he did so with two sublime efforts, but other than that, he was simply poor.
The 32-year-old forward recorded only 68% passing accuracy, played one key pass and lost possession an unacceptable 12 times against the Nerazzurri.
When everything is said and done, Suarez’s performances seem to depend on fleeting moments of brilliance and skill we know he still has in him but rarely lets out these days.
Maybe time is starting to catch up with El Pistolero but in any case, at 32 years of age and with already a series of lacklustre performances behind him this season alone, Valverde should maybe consider using Suarez as an impact substitute later on in the game.
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That seemed to work wonderfully against Valencia on matchday four when the Uruguayan came on in the second half only to net two goals in quick succession and finish the job for Blaugrana.
And yes, it’s difficult to mount a compelling argument against a player who has scored five goals in seven games across all competitions in the 2019/20 season but as a whole, Suarez just hasn’t been the same and his performances might be hurting Barcelona more than helping them, despite the strikes recorded.
Not to mention that Blaugrana have a certain Antoine Griezmann who’s currently being wasted at left-wing because of Suarez.
The Frenchman was once again near invisible against Inter Milan and is clearly having trouble settling in on a largely unfamiliar position.
Benching Suarez – valued at £45 million by Transfermarkt – might be a tough call to make but, at this point, it truly is necessary if Barcelona are going to improve in the future.
Let’s see if Valverde works up the courage to make the right decision come Sunday evening.