Yerry Mina ready to go


Piqué’s injury and other absences make the Colombian a candidate for a place in the starting line-up

Yerry Mina has gone from being an alternative to become an obligation for Ernesto Valverde. The injury Gerard Piqué picked up in Sunday’s Catalan derby against Espanyol, which is expected to keep him on the sidelines for between eight and ten days, opens the door for the Colombian to make his debut in LaLiga, as the manager has few other options.

Vermaelen is still injured and is a serious doubt for Saturday’s game, and Umtiti is suspended, which means Mina could become the sole centre-back in a three-man defence, with Busquets possibly being drafted in alongside him as a stop-gap solution. Since his unveiling in mid-January, Mina has been adapting to the squad but until now has not played as much as a minute in the Blaugrana shirt. He could even be picked to play against Valencia in the second leg of the Copa del Rey semi-final.