Miralem Pjanic and Arthur Melo are set to face their former teams in Barcelona’s Champions League game against Juventus at the Allianz Stadium on Wednesday.
When the Brazilian midfielder moved to the Old Lady last summer, Pjanic made the reverse trip to the Camp Nou in a deal that helped both clubs balance their books amidst the coronavirus crisis. So far, however, none of the two has managed to clinch a slot in their teams’ starting line-ups.
Pjanic has participated in three games, but only started in the Champions League match against Ferencvaros while Andrea Pirlo has given Arthur playing time across three Juventus matches.
Wednesday’s game may be a strange one for both midfielders who will be called to face the teams whose shirts donned just four months ago.
Arthur already knew that his adaptation to Serie A would not be the easiest task as he is called to improve his physique and settle in the Italian north.
He is gradually beginning to reap the fruits of his work, as he feels comfortable and is growing within the group. He started the last two Serie A games and hopes to continue against his former teammates.
On his part, Pjanic joined the preseason training with Barcelona late after testing positive for coronavirus. He has yet to get much playing time in LaLiga Santander but started Barcelona’s only Champions League match so far against Ferencvaros.
Pjanic comes off the bench to replace either Frenkie de Jong or Sergio Busquets who play as a double pivot under Ronald Koeman. The Bosnian midfielder has asked for some time to adapt to his new coach’s 4-2-3-1 formation.
This Wednesday, Pjanic returns to what was home for four seasons, where he won four Serie A titles, and he has expressed his joy for being able to face his former teammates.
“I am very happy to be here, playing against my former club,” Pjanic said ahead of the match “I spent four very good years, with great memories. ”
Meanwhile, it is uncertain were Arthur will be given the nod against Barcelona. Andrea Pirlo has distributed minutes between his midfielders this season, although Italian media believe that the Brazil international will start alongside Rodrigo Bentancur in the middle third.