No faith for Antoine Griezmann.

The France international is no longer assured of a place in the starting line-up as he prepares to face former club Atletico Madrid at Camp Nou.

As broadcasters began to show replays of Iago Aspas’ late equaliser for Celta Vigo against Barcelona on Saturday, the eyes of all watching Blaugrana supporters focused on the actions of one man.

Stood on the end of the defensive wall as Aspas line up his free-kick was Antoine Griezmann. Having been left out of the starting line-up, the France international had been thrown on by Quique Setien in a bid to ensure Barca did not drop anymore points in their quest to fight off Real Madrid in the Liga title race.

Instead, Griezmann was the man to blame come the full-time whistle in Vigo. The former Atletico Madrid forward turned his back on Aspas’ effort rather than attempting to block it, and with Marc-Andre ter Stegen unsighted, the ball found its way into the bottom corner of his goal.

It is just the latest forgettable moment in Griezmann’s first season at Camp Nou, with his €120 million (£107m/$134m) move from Atletico Madrid very quickly becoming something of a nightmare.

Atletico are Barcelona’s opponents on Tuesday evening and would love nothing more than to remind Griezmann of the good times he left behind by continuing their improved recent form and recording a victory in Catalunya.

Under Diego Simeone, Griezmann developed into one of the most feared attacking players on the planet, playing predominantly as either second striker or a false nine as the Rojiblancos challenged the status quo both in Spain and on the continent.

At Barca, however, Griezmann has largely been deployed on the left-hand side of a front three by both Ernesto Valverde and Setien. Lionel Messi is the man given the freedom to drift between positions, not Griezmann, and the lack of flexibility in his new role is no doubt hurting his performance levels.

With six games left of the Liga season, Griezmann has contributed just eight goals and four assists in 31 appearances. In 2018-19 he finished the campaign with 15 goals and eight assists. The year before that it was 19 goals and nine assists.


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