Four changes at the minimum for Xavi’s Barcelona against Mallorca


BILBAO, SPAIN - MARCH 03: Xavi, Head Coach of FC Barcelona, looks on prior to the LaLiga EA Sports match between Athletic Bilbao and FC Barcelona at Estadio de San Mames on March 03, 2024 in Bilbao, Spain.
Photo by Juan Manuel Serrano Arce/Getty Images

The draw against Athletic Club in their last La Liga encounter can have implications for FC Barcelona beyond just the two points lost.

The match also saw two important Barcelona players, Frenkie de Jong and Pedri, go out with injuries, while the head coach Xavi Hernandez and the defender Ronald Araujo also picked up suspensions for the upcoming match against Mallorca.

Owing to these injuries, suspensions, and the specific style of play Mallorca are likely to adopt for this upcoming game, SPORT claims that there are at least four changes expected in the lineup for this match.

One of the biggest problems that Xavi will be facing for this match will be the lack of availability of Ronald Araujo, who is one of the leaders in defense for this Barcelona team. However, his absence will be felt even more keenly against an attacker as tall and physical as Muriqi.

It remains to be seen how Xavi will set up his team to counter this threat, but as things stand, Inigo Martinez and Pau Cubarsi are the two players looking most likely to form the center of the defense, even though the Barcelona head coach will also have to option to deploy Christensen in defense.

Two changes will be needed in the midfield, as both Frenkie and Pedri were starters for Xavi. With their injuries, the coach will have to revert to a three-man attack, with Fermin Lopez compensating with one of the lost midfielders, but playing more internally.

With three options in attack, Xavi can get Lamine Yamal back on the pitch, although there are concerns about his fitness. Joao Felix or Raphinha can play as a false winger on the left.

On the other hand, Sergi Roberto can be an option for the Barcelona tactician if he wants to retain the four-man midfield.

Lastly, the right-back position will also see a change, with Jules Kounde playing a lot of minutes this season. Thus, Xavi can play Hector Fort in the Frenchman’s stead in this game, especially with the key Napoli clash also just around the corner.

Ahmad Sarmad Ansari
Ahmad Sarmad Ansari
Ahmad Sarmad Ansari has been covering Spanish football as a writer for Barca News Network for the last one and a half year and as an amateur football fanatic for more than 10 years. He mainly covers on and off-field happenings taking place at Barcelona including transfer news, administrative changes, match reports, and any other eventful news coming out of the club.

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