Quique Setién bemoans the new substitution rule and claims Barcelona could be at a disadvantage

Barcelona manager Quique Setien says allowing five substitutions per game could give the Catalan giants’ rivals an advantage ahead of the league’s proposed restart in June.

La Liga is set to return on June 11, with at least one game every day until July 19 in a jam-packed fixture schedule.

The Spanish top flight will follow the lead of the Bundesliga, adopting a new law where teams are allowed to make five substitutions per game instead of just three.

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The measures have been brought in to keep players fresh and reduce the risk of injury after a three-month layoff as a result of the coronavirus outbreak, but Setien sees it potentially working against Barcelona.

Speaking to the Las Palmas Football Federation [via Esports]the Barcelona boss said: “I think it will do us more harm than good.

“Many matches are settled in the final minutes and with this change opponents will be able to get more fresh players at this stage of the match, where we take advantage of that fatigue.

“But it can also give you resources at a given moment. It’s an unknown quantity and we’ll see how it goes.”

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Setian Group is also cautious about the lack of training his team will have to undergo in preparation for a return to competitive action. Barcelona returned to the training ground on May 8 for individual fitness work, but will only get 10 full days of training as a group before La Liga resumes.

“We are working very hard,” added Setien. “We thought we would have more time to work as a group, but we don’t. We would have liked more time.

“One thing we haven’t been able to do is get everyone in the video room to review the strategic concepts that are important.”

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Setien admitted, though, that the long absence from the game could act as a boost for his players, rather than a hindrance to performance – Barca’s last game was on March 7, and their first on June 16. Against Mallorca.

“To go that long without playing is a motivation in itself,” he concluded. “The situation has allowed the players to relax mentally and de-stress.”

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