According to recent reports and statements by FC Barcelona themselves, Polish striker Robert Lewandowski has suffered a thigh overload and is set to miss the upcoming El Clasico against Real Madrid in the first leg of the Copa Del Ray semi-final.
In his absence, there are only three offensive options that could potentially step up in terms of attacking hope.
Spanish youngster Ansu Fati, donning the fabled number 10 behind his back, Spaniard Ferran Torres, who has reclaimed some hint of form in recent games, and the Brazilian winger Raphinha, who himself has looked evidently dangerous for oppositions to handle in recent times.
These three forwards are currently the only first-time options available at Xavi’s disposal for the upcoming clash between the Spanish giants. The last time these three played simultaneously together was against Viktoria Plzen in November, a game where the Catalans had nothing to play for perhaps except for pride, where they won by 4-2.
In the case that Xavi Hernandez decides to field 3 conventional forwards, these three would be his best bet in terms of the best available quality and experience. As an alternative, he could also call upon the likes of Angel Alarcon should he want a new variable in his offensive equation.
On the contrary, should the manager decide to field his rather typical formation and system which revolves around having four midfielders operating the intricacies of every play that Barcelona progresses, it would mean that one of the three will definitely be set to miss out.
The likes of Ousmane Dembele and Pedri were already substantially detrimental misses of the Blaugrana outfit, but the loss of Robert Lewandowski as well at such a crucial moment of the season, albeit not for too long, hits quite hard in terms of how unlucky Xavi and his side have been at times this season.