FC Barcelona gear themselves up for their 29th fixture in La Liga Santander this season, in their quest for the La Liga title itself. They pay a visit to Madrid to face off against 16th-placed Getafe CF in the hopes of securing a win that would return their 13-point margin at the top of the league table following Real Madrid’s 2-0 win over Cadiz just recently.
Here is how Xavi Hernandez could set up his Blaugrana troops against Getafe.
Goalkeeper: Marc Andre ter Stegen
En route to his first Zamora title since coming to Barcelona from the Bundesliga, the German international has had quite a spectacular season. Having conceded just 9 goals across the league campaign, he seems likely to go on to break multiple defensive records once the season comes to an end.
Right-back: Jules Kounde
The Frenchman has cemented his own groove at that right back slot and continues to provide solidity as well as a creative edge of sorts down that right-hand flank. His consistency will be key to keeping Getafe at bay from the flanks.
Centre-back: Ronald Araujo
The behemoth of Barcelona in defense. Araujo is still the most reliable piece of Barcelona’s defense and for good reason. Arguably one of Europe’s top central defenders at this point in time, Blaugrana fans and teammates alike can rest assured when the Uruguayan is at the helm.
Centre-back: Eric Garcia
With Andreas Christensen out injured, it seems likely that Xavi will entrust Eric Garcia to take charge of the central defensive zones alongside Ronald Araujo. Moreover, his progressive abilities make him a key piece should he be utilized correctly enough.
Left-back: Alejandro Balde
Barcelona’s own blazing fullback, the electric youngster has totally come into his own this season. His lightning-fast speeds and dangerous deliveries from the flanks make him a massive threat that Getafe will need to find a way to cope with.
CDM: Sergio Busquets
Barcelona’s trusted pivot and captain, the veteran provides stability and creativity in the heart of the field. His performance will be key in ensuring just how well Barcelona are able to control proceedings and dominate their opposition.
CM: Sergi Roberto
The ideal utility player in the eyes of Xavi Hernandez, Roberto typically finds himself deployed in multiple positions thanks to his versatility and plethora of technical abilities. It will be interesting to see what role he is given by the manager, however.
CM: Franck Kessie
Having been rested against Girona, it seems that Franck Kessie will get a shot himself in the starting eleven this time around. With rumors floating around that the Ivorian might potentially get offloaded, it would suit him best to perform at a level now that could consequently shut down any such rumors that come his way.
The Brazilian winger has been a great alternative to have in the stead of Ousmane Dembele, and while he still would not be Xavi’s preference should the Frenchman be available, he still provides a great deal of attacking threat and creativity that could help unlock Getafe’s defense.
Centre-forward: Robert Lewandowski
In a bit of a slump in form at the moment, the Polish striker will be looking to find a solution to his at times frustrating performances since the World Cup. This next match presents itself as an opportunity for the forward to get back his scoring form and hopefully continue it for the rest of the season.
With the rather lackluster impact traditional wingers have had this season at points with the exception of a few, it seems that Xavi Hernandez may opt to revert to his seemingly preferred choice of playing a false winger. Gavi is and has been the ideal candidate for this role this season, and his tenacious attributes fill that spot perfectly.
Goalkeeper: Ter Stegen
Defenders: Balde, Eric, Araujo, Kounde
Midfielders: Kessie, Busquets, Roberto
Forwards: Gavi, Lewandowski, Raphinha