A new trident for Barça & Koeman: Coutinho, Memphis and Luuk de Jong


The Dutch coach is limited in his options for Monday's match against Granada

| sport

German Bona

There will be a new trident against Granada. Ronald Koeman is set to hand Philippe Coutinho his first start of the season alongside the untouchable Memphis Depay, with Luuk de Jong making up the front three as the Dutch coach returns to a 4-3-3 formation.

Yusuf Demis is another option after his cameo against Bayern Munich, which could see Coutinho drop into the midfield or De Jong relegated to the bench after his first start for Barça in the 3-0 Champions League loss last week. Whatever Koeman picks, it will be the 10th combination he's picked for a front three since he took charge.

Koeman has not always played 4-3-3. He started with a 4-2-3-1 until the 11th week of his first season in charge, the 4-0 win against Osasuna, which was the last time Coutinho scored for the club. But he didn't play in attack then, rather midfield. The front three was Messi, Griezmann and Braithwaite.

Dembele-Messi-Griezmann, most used

The majority of the games when a front three has been used have been 4-3-3 but Koeman's also used 3-4-3. Later he also played with two up front (usuall Pedri behind Messi and Griezmann/Dembele) or two behind No.10s (Messi and Griezmann) behind Dembele.

Koeman used a front three 17 times in total last season and three so far this term. That's 20 in total. The most used has been Dembele and Griezmann wide with Messi through the middle -- on six occasions. Dembélé-Griezmann-Braithwaite was used three times.


Between Messi (38), Griezmann (20) and Dembéle (11) they scored 69 goals last season. Now the challenge is to replace those goals, with the first two gone and the latter injured. Memphis is the great hope. He scored 22 times for Lyon. Luuk de Jong scored nine for Sevilla.

Ansu & Dembele

Whoever plays against Granada, it would appear provisional. When Ansu Fati and Ousmane Dembele -- and Sergio Aguero -- return from injuries, Koeman will have much more to choose from.

Coutinho, Luuk y Memphis, un tridente inédito que apunta al Granada





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