With FC Barcelona preparing themselves to face Sevilla FC tomorrow, it is expected that Xavi Hernandez will likely line up with the strongest possible eleven at his disposal. Two major factors contribute towards this understanding.
Primarily, Sevilla are enjoying a resurgence of sorts, and it would be wise to not take them lightly at all despite their misleading La Liga standings as of right now. Secondly, between this game and Barcelona’s next match against Villarreal, there is a sizable break for resting key players.
As such, the following looks like Xavi’s most likely starting eleven to face the team from Seville:
Barcelona vs Sevilla FC: Potential Lineup
Goalkeeper: Marc Andre Ter Stegen
Brilliant as always this season against Betis as well, the German’s efforts for a clean sheet were unfortunately halted courtesy of an own goal by Jules Kounde. Despite a minor setback, the German keeper is leading the defensive charts across Europe.
Left-back: Alejandro Balde
The thunderous youngster showcased his insane level of work rate and pace against Real Betis last time around. His heatmap from the last game shows quite the ridiculous output from the youngster.
Centre-back: Andreas Christensen
Barcelona’s transfer revelation of the season, the free-acquisition of the Danish defender leads many to claim him to be the Catalan club’s best business in the summer transfer window. The player has cemented himself as an integral part of Xavi’s plans and for good cause.
Centre-back: Ronald Araujo
An absolute unit at the back for Barcelona, the Uruguayan remains undisputed for Xavi and is the central figure of La Blaugrana’s main defensive setup and lineup.
Right-back: Jules Kounde
Despite scoring an unfortunate own-goal last time around, Jules Kounde remains critically important for Barcelona courtesy of his immense talent, consistency, and adaptability in multiple roles.
CDM: Sergio Busquets
While his contractual situation still remains unsolved, what remains solved is Busquets’s position in the team alongside Frenkie De Jong in a double pivot, a system that added with the veteran’s individual qualities has worked wonders for the Catalans this season.
Magical as he always tends to be, even over the last couple of games, Pedri’s presence and quality incline Barcelona to play better and more fluid football. Still rather surreal to believe this 20-year-old now exists as the catalyst and center-piece of Xavi’s revolution at FC Barcelona.
CM: Frenkie De Jong
The Dutchman’s new position alongside Busquets in a double pivot has helped out both players in accessing more of the field and being able to utilize more of their creativity to help the team, while simultaneously lessening the burden on both players in terms of defensive duties.
Deployed as a left-winger initially, the youngster actually ends up becoming part of a midfielder 4 shaped like a rectangular/square-based formation. This tactic, coupled with Gavi’s individual brilliance and tenacity, make it Xavi’s preferred setup this season.
Centre-forward: Robert Lewandowski
Back from suspension and on the scoresheet as well, Robert Lewandowski was sorely missed. The Pole brings a new sense of danger to Barcelona’s frontline and it remains his deadly finishing qualities amongst other traits that continue to make him one of the best strikers in the world.
Managed to score a goal last time around against Real Betis, the Brazilian will still need to show more of his talent and potential to make up for Ousmane Dembele’s untimely injury to prove himself to the Catalan club.
Barcelona vs Sevilla FC: Expected Lineup
Goalkeeper: Ter Stegen
Defenders: Balde, Christensen, Araujo, Kounde
Midfielders: Pedri, Busquets, De Jong
Forwards: Gavi, Lewandowski, Raphinha