The Straits Times
www.straitstimes.com
Published on Nov 06, 2012
 

Barcelona almost there despite makeshift defence

 
 

LONDON (REUTERS) - Barcelona's early season form has been on a par with their habitually high standards but as they prepare to visit Celtic in the Champions League there remains a question mark hanging over their makeshift defence.

One more win in Group G on Wednesday would see the Catalans into the knockout stages but fans worry whether a back four that has an increasingly stand-in look about it can win a fifth European Cup.

Javier Mascherano, a midfielder by trade, was drafted in as a centre back after signing from Liverpool but has now become a regular fixture at the back.

The opportunity to buy an established centre back in the close-season was passed up and injuries to Gerard Pique and Carles Puyol have meant August signing Alex Song - another midfielder - has been forced to provide cover at the back.