Barca vs Sevilla: The Garnet and Blue will return to action against Julen Lopetegui’s Sevilla in the Fourth League Round on Saturday night at Ramon Sanchez-Pizjuan. This is how Xavi is expected to Line-up his team in a 4-3-3 system against the Andalusian side.
Date: 03, September 2022
Time: 09:00 PM CET ( Barcelona )
Venue: Ramon Sanchez-Pizjuan
Competition: La Liga ( Matchday 04 )
Fc Barcelona’s last outing against Real Valladolid felt like a feast of satisfaction for the ravenous fans of the Blaugrana, in fact, was the delivery of a must-taken result from a team predestined for much bigger things. After years of suffering, Barcelona is back in its former glory, and what once seemed a rare, salient result, now has to be set as a simple, general expectation.
The base concept Xavi applied since his takeover has been bolstered with top quality additions this summer like Lewandowski, Raphinha, and Koundé, in order to increase the ceiling of the system and enhance the individuals in itself, maximizing performance through harmony.
After a slow start of the season, Xavi’s team finally starts to gain momentum as they have won their last 2 games, with an impressive, +7 goal difference. In fact, this is the highest in the league so far, in addition, the Blaugranas have also accumulated the highest xG difference. It should be noted, though, that only 3 games were played so far, which provides a small sample to draw broad conclusions.
Nevertheless, our attacking play seemingly works, and the individual performances play a huge role in this. Lewandowski leads the charts with 4 goals scored, and besides his prolific finishing, his creative contribution in possession values up his performance further. Raphinha, whose Brazilian flair is a joy to watch, constantly threatens the opposition defenders and is the main creator on the wings alongside Dembélé. Ansu Fati showed again a glimpse of his bright talent, and hopefully, he will continue it on a more frequent basis, as his careful recovery allows him to do so.
In plus, the deadline day did not pass without the club making some late deals before the window closed on September 1st. While Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang returned to the Premier League to join Chelsea and Martin Braithwaite left for local rivals Espanyol, Barcelona secured two experienced players for the fullback position, namely Marcos Alonso and Héctor Bellerín. With that, the squad depth has increased, which could mean much in such a chaotic and packed season that we are facing, filled with a World Cup and a strained, 2 games-per-week autumn calendar.
Barca vs Sevilla: Expected Line-up
Goal Keeper: Ter Stagen
Defenders: Kounde, Araujo, Christensen, Balde
Midfielders: Pedri, Busquets, Frenkie
Forwards: Dembele, Lewandowski, Raphinha
So far, the Dembele-Raphinha duo seems to be Xavi’s preferred option on the wings while Robert Lewandowski is the obvious choice upfront. This trio has proven to be a major success in previous outings, with Dembélé and Raphinha particularly rotating incessantly, while Lewandowski imposes himself centrally.
Ansu Fati is also expected to get some minutes in the 2nd half, following cautious doses of game time to slowly rebuild his fitness, avoiding any rush in his recovery from his relapsed injury. The starboy registered a goal and brace of assists in the game against Sociedad and showed a clear sign that he is ready for the upcoming challenges.
In the midfield, the positions of Busquets and Pedri are still unquestionable, meaning that there is only one spot up for the grasp in the middle of the park with five contenders challenging for it. However, Gavi and Frenkie are above in the packing order as compared to Kessie, Pjanic, and Pablo Torre to challenge for the only available spot in the midfield.
Talking about defenders, Araujo and Christensen are expected to pair up in the center of the defense while Balde and Kounde are expected to take the role of fullbacks in a 4ATB set-up.
That said, numerous options are available for variating profiles, systems, and concepts to the coach’s satisfaction, while the goal remains simple and clear: to win, and to claim all the three points possible.