Felix, Fermin start in a 4-3-3: How Barcelona could line up against Unionistas


BARCELONA, SPAIN - DECEMBER 10: Fermin Lopez of FC Barcelona with the ball during the LaLiga EA Sports match between FC Barcelona and Girona FC at Estadi Olimpic Lluis Companys on December 10, 2023 in Barcelona, Spain.
Photo by Pedro Salado/Getty Images

After having crashed out of the Spanish Super Cup, Barcelona now turn their attention elsewhere. For the Catalan giants, the remaining competitions now become a priority. The first one that Barcelona must now guarantee progression in is the Copa Del Ray.

For Xavi Hernandez, the domestic cup remains the most possible shot at a title this season. With the UEFA Champions League filled with oppositions with much higher quality, and La Liga already slipping away, the Copa Del Ray becomes Barça’s biggest ray of hope at the moment.

As such, Xavi will undoubtedly try to field as strong a line up as he can against Unionistas. While rotations will be kept in mind, the Round of 16 should still see Barça line up as strongly as they can.

Here is how Barcelona could line up against Unionistas in the Copa Del Ray.

Goalkeeper: Inaki Pena

Despite conceding four goals to Real Madrid, Inaki Pena remains Barça’s only option in goal as the deputy. Until the German comes back, the Spaniard will need to continue defending the goal.

Left-back: Alejandro Balde

The electric fullback continues to show glimpses of his best capabilities. However, the problem with Balde is with his inconsistencies. At times, he plays like one of the elite fullbacks, and other times he plays like a shadow of himself. Against Unionistas, his best version will be needed.

Centre-back: Andreas Christensen

The Danish defender was exploited a lot by Real Madrid’s intense counter attacks in the last game. However, much of that was due to the flaws in the overall system being played. He should get a better chance against Unionistas, however.

Centre-back: Jules Kounde

For this game, Jules Kounde will likely once again be deployed as a central defender. He remains one of the more consistent performers heading into the second half of the season, but much of that has been due to improvements from him.

Right-back: Hector Fort

With Joao Cancelo and even Ronald Araujo now unavailable, Hector Fort becomes an easy selection. He performed pretty well whenever he has been tested, so Xavi should consider him ready for such an encounter.

CDM: Oriol Romeu

After several games of not being chosen as a starter, Oriol Romeu could now possibly get a start. He has lost a lot of importance under Xavi as time has went on, but he could look to help the team out this time.

CM: Frenkie De Jong

The Dutchman remains one of Xavi’s most competent stars. His vision and composure within the midfield is almost unmatched and he should be a given in this game with such high stakes.

CM: Fermin Lopez

Since Xavi would possibly prefer to give Pedri some rest, Fermin Lopez could step up in his place. The youngster’s dynamism is the closest thing Barcelona have to Gavi and they would do well to make use of it.

Left-winger: Joao Felix

After having struggled to find continuity in Saudi Arabia, Joao Felix could find normality back in Spain. The Portuguese forward needs to regain momentum, and this match could offer him that opportunity.

Centre-forward: Robert Lewandowski

Gradually, Robert Lewandowski has found his scoring habits again. Since the arrival of Vitor Roque, the Polish ace has been unstoppable. He will be hoping to continue that trend against Unionistas.

Right-winger: Ferran Torres

With Lamine Yamal still sanctioned and Raphinha injured, Ferran Torres becomes the natural pick for Xavi. The shark will want to get back to his scoring ways, and this game could provide just that.

Raafay Humayun
Raafay Humayun
Raafay Humayun is a life-long fan of FC Barcelona and an avid enjoyer of all things Blaugrana. Having fallen in love with the club for the way they defined football for him, he now spends his time watching games, analyzing the happenings in them, and digesting any and everything related to his beloved Catalan club. He also writes as an author for Barca News Network hoping to deliver the latest updates to his fellow ‘culés’.

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