Gerard Pique has gone a month without missing a single minute. After his four game suspension after dismissal in the Spanish Super Cup, the Catalan centre-back has been fixed in Luis Enrique’s side. In total that’s six games in which he has played the full 90, adding one more game with Spain.
From September 23, Pique has started every game and has not been substituted on any occasion. The rest of the centre-backs have been rotated. Moreover, the injury to Vermaelen and then Iniesta has obliged Mascherano to play in midfield, which has stopped Pique from being rested.
However, the technical team are considering giving the star a rest against Eibar. Firstly because Pique recognised after the game against BATe that he has not been 100 per cent physically for a while, and secondly because Vermaelen’s recovery gives Lucho more options.
Del Bosque was the first to raise the alarm about Pique, not playing him in the second game against Ukraine, partly because the team had qualified and partly because he had pain in a leg and in his hip.
In any case, it has not been painful enough to stop him from playing, although his form has been irregular – some good games, others less so. His debut this season in La Liga was disastrous, a 4-1 defeat by Celta Vigo, the first defeat of the season in the domestic division.
If Pique is finally rested against Eibar he will likely have a total of 10 days of rest before Barcelona’s next game, because he is also unlikely to be called up for the game in Extremadura against Villanovense in the Copa del Rey, in midweek.
Luis Enrique will have the last word on if he starts against Eibar. And Pique, even if he is not 100 per cent, will play if it suits the Asturian coach. Barcelona have other options in defence at last, but we can’t say the same about the midfield situation.