The long awaited return if the Barcelona club captain Carles Puyol is great news, but I am slightly concerned that he is going to be thrown back into action with a fairly unfamiliar back four. The 35-year old centre back has not played with the Barcelona first team for a massive 247 days, so it would be no surprise if he was a bit rusty and took some time to get back into the swing of things.
For that reason, the decision of Tata Martino to rest both Gerard Pique and Dani Alves for the journey to Pamplona seems a little odd, especially when you consider that the first choice left back Jordi Alba is missing as well. So on his return to action, there is a lot of pressure on Puyol, because he will be the only first choice defender on the pitch, with the talented but young and inexperienced Marc Bartra next to him, Adriano at left back and Martin Montoya at right back.
Martino must have great faith in his captain, and we all know that Puyol will be raring to go and always gives everything for Barca, so hopefully there is no problem. Mascherano is also back from injury, so the boss clearly has confidence in Bartra, which will be good for the 22-year old’s own state of mind. There will be questions asked if the risky selection backfires, though.