Gala XI returns: Expected Line up of FC Barcelona against RCD Espanyol

Expected Line up: Barca vs Espanyol

FC Barcelona are set to face off against RCD Espanyol in Matchday 35 of La Liga Santander, in what could be a title-deciding game. The first-placed Camp Nou-based side will be facing off against Luis García’s 19th-placed Espanyol battling relegation.

With La Liga now being their primary focus, Xavi Hernandez is expected to deploy his strongest possible eleven, and the squad list also confirms the return of veteran Sergi Roberto from injury.

Here is how FC Barcelona could potentially line up:

Potential Line-up:

Goalkeeper: Marc Andre Ter Stegen

Two clean sheets away from breaking the record of Paco Liano of the most clean sheets across Europe’s top 5 leagues through history. Set to start between the sticks for Xavi’s Cavalry, he could make it one less by the end of the 90 minutes.

Left-back: Alejandro Balde

The electric fullback will be determined to keep Espanyol at bay while simultaneously putting their defense at constant unease with his pace and quality.

Centre-back: Andreas Christensen

The Danish defender has been the unsung hero of Barcelona throughout the season. His essence and need were especially felt when he became unavailable due to injury. Now having fully returned from injury, the player will likely start alongside Araujo in the heart of the defense.

Centre-back: Ronald Araujo

The usual protagonist for FC Barcelona in the heart of their defense, the Uruguayan defender will be needed once more to ensure Espanyol’s attack is made to be ineffective and kept nullified.

Right-back: Jules Kounde

Jules Kounde provides Barcelona with both defensive and offensive reliability on that right-hand side of the defense, and his ability on the ball makes him a very dependable ball progressor as well as a good counter-pressing player to have in the squad.

CDM: Sergio Busquets

The immortalized pivot and captain of La Blaugrana is soon to leave FC Barcelona and begin a new chapter in his career. The perfect farewell awaits him if he is able to win one more La Liga title before his inevitable departure, and that too against the likes of Catalan rivals Espanyol.

CM: Frenkie De Jong

The Dutchman’s mesmerizing skill and ability to dismantle defenses courtesy of his dribbling and passing range are second to none. His availability provides stability to FC Barcelona and he remains one of the untouchables of the team.

CM: Pedri

The heartbeat of this Barcelona side. When Pedri is playing his best, the Catalans subsequently enjoy their best football, and likewise when he seems to struggle, so does the team. With the youngster now back following his injury, his performance could dictate just how well La Blaugrana manage to dominate.

Left-winger: Gavi

The young Spaniard will be the one to cover the left flank should Xavi want to execute his typical 4-midfielder game plan. The tenacity and technical brilliance of the youngster would be ideal for this role.

Centre-forward: Robert Lewandowski

The leader in the Pichichi race, Robert Lewandowski will be hoping to add to his tally of 19 goals in this game as he continues to battle against Karim Benzema for the top scorer award.

Right-winger: Ousmane Dembele

With the Frenchman now in full health and back from his injury, Ousmane Dembele will be sure to start for Xavi in this game. His unpredictability and ability to cause problems for the opposition could be very useful for unsettling Espanyol in this game.

Expected Line-up:

Formation: 4-3-3

Goalkeeper: Marc Andre Ter Stegen

Defenders: Balde, Christensen, Araujo, Kounde

Midfielders: De Jong, Busquets, Pedri

Forwards: Gavi, Lewandowski, Dembele

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