FC Barcelona prepare themselves to face off against El Clasico rivals Real Madrid in the first leg of their heavily anticipated Copa Del Rey semi-final. Both teams will be looking to mark another chapter in their respective El Clasico stories.
Given some prominent absentees from the Barcelona squad list, changes are inevitable in Xavi’s starting eleven. The following is how FC Barcelona may potentially line up against Real Madrid.
Barcelona vs Madrid: Potential Line-up
Goalkeeper: Marc Andre Ter Stegen
The German international will undoubtedly be Xavi Hernandez’s trusted deputy in between the sticks in front of the Barcelona goal. His current form has saved Barcelona on a handful of occasions, and El Clasicos are always a real test for participating goalkeepers.
Right-back: Jules Kounde
The Frenchman has had his fair share of great performances for FC Barcelona, yet also a few mishaps. The defender will however continue to be a huge defensive asset to the Catalan defense and must be trusted to hold his own against Real Madrid’s barrage of attacks.
Centre-back: Andreas Christensen
Hailing from Denmark, the defender will again be called upon despite a minor blow he suffered during yesterday’s training session to partner alongside Barcelona’s most trusted backline and utilize his playmaking abilities as well as composure on the ball to aid his team when in possession or even without it courtesy of his defensive capabilities.
Centre-back: Ronald Araujo
Barcelona’s most trusted defender within that reliable backline, the Uruguayan tends to be a key player against Real Madrid no matter the competition, and can be entrusted to be there to keep Los Blancos at bay should the need arrive.
Left-back: Alejandro Balde
The electric fullback was pivotal in Barcelona’s triumph over Real Madrid in the Spanish Super Cup final, and his youth and athleticism will be tested once more against these Spanish goliaths.
CDM: Sergio Busquets
The Spanish veteran and Barcelona captain has his own fair share of historic encounters with Real Madrid, yet his longevity in terms of consistency and quality has ensured he withstands the test of time and features once more against Los Merengues.
CM: Frenkie De Jong
The Dutchman’s mesmeric runs and composure under pressure are vital traits that have helped him stand out this season even in the toughest of fixtures, and his quality as a footballer alongside his broader understanding of the game could prove to be of essential importance to FC Barcelona.
CM: Sergi Roberto
With Pedri out, Xavi prefers to entrust Sergi Roberto to fulfill his duties, as the manager feels the two midfielders to be akin in certain qualities. The veteran has experience against Real Madrid, and it will be needed again in this upcoming clash.
Barcelona’s Brazilian winger has been pleasing fans with his displays of energy and productivity in recent times in the absence of Ousmane Dembele, albeit not to the same levels as the Frenchman. He seems to be a sure slot in for that right winger spot.
Centre-forward: Ferran Torres
With Robert Lewandowski unavailable due to injury and Ansu Fati himself having just returned from the sidelines, it seems that Ferran Torres is arguably the only useable center forward option Xavi has at his disposal. Given the Spaniard’s recent form, he might just end up being a positive asset for the Blaugrana.
The young midfielder looked lethargic against Almeria and is going to be absent against Valencia due to suspension, so should he need to find a better reasoning to mark his moment in yet another El Clasico, this one would be the prime time to hit his best strides in order to revitalize the faith the Blaugrana faithful have in him.