The duo of Sergino Dest and Ronald Araujo are certain to start for Barcelona in the second leg of their last 16 tie with Turkish team Galatasaray in the Europa League. The tie is in the balance after the two teams played out a goalless draw at the Nou Camp in what was the first leg. Surprisingly, Barcelona created little as the forwards had an off day in front of goal.
American international Dest has not been able to convince manager Xavi Hernandez that he's the long-term recipient of the right-back slot in his Barcelona team. Destlost his place to Brazilian star Dani Alves at the start of the year, but he has regained it in recent weeks. Dani Alves returned to the club towards the end of last year and he was ineligible to play for the Blaugrana until the start of this year.
Alves was not registered for the Europa League and that has given Dest a free run as the undisputed Barcelona right-back in the competition. The American will start the away game against Galatasaray on Thursday, but he will have to do better than his first leg showing to retain the trust of Xavi especially on the back of reports linking the club with a new right-back this summer. It has been reported that Ajax Amsterdam defender Noussair Mazraoui has welcomed the interest of Barcelona in signing him on a free transfer this summer. The Moroccan international right-back will leave Dutch club Ajax at the end of his contract this summer.
In the first leg at home to Galatasaray, Dest failed to make a key pass, a long ball or an accurate cross in his 90 minutes on the pitch. The American international had just 45 touches as he failed to get the better of Dutchman Patrick Van Aanholt, who was the Galatasaray left-back.
Just like Dest, Uruguayan international Araujo is also set to start the second leg against Galatasaray after he was rested for the La Liga win over Osasuna on Sunday.