Gavi, Felix start in a 4-4-2: How Barcelona could line up against Real Madrid


Barcelona players Pablo Gavi and Joao Felix
Photo by Cristian Trujillo/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

The day of reckoning arrives, FC Barcelona are geared up to take on Real Madrid in El Clasico. The Montjuic Stadium awaits the Spanish rivals that will clash on Matchday 11 of La Liga EA Sports. In a hotly anticipated encounter, both Barcelona and Real Madrid will be focused on targeting all three points.

Heading into the game, Barcelona are currently drowned in uncertainties. Several of the previously injured players took part in the latest training session. However, it is still unclear which of those players will end up making the final squad.

As a result, the expected lineup for this game is being made keeping in mind the absence of guarantees in terms of who makes it and who does not. Hence, players that are guaranteed to play will be taken into account while creating the line-up.

Here is how FC Barcelona could line up against Real Madrid.

Expected Line-up

Goalkeeper: Marc Andre Ter Stegen

The German goalkeeper is among the most experienced stars in this current Barcelona side. Possessing a great deal of past experience in El Clasico, the Barcelona captain will have a huge responsibility.

Hoping to lead his team to victory, he will simultaneously have to ensure Real Madrid do not get any favorable chances.

Right-back: Ronald Araujo

As has become almost customary at this point, Ronald Araujo could start against Vinicius Jr as a right-back. His physicality and dominating presence will be crucial for keeping the Brazilian winger at bay. By nullifying the threat of the trickster on the wing, Barcelona could truly assert themselves in the game.

Centre-back: Andreas Christensen

The Danish defender continues to showcase a great level of consistency for Barcelona. His great vision coupled with clever defensive positioning has allowed him to become one of the best signings that Barça has made since Xavi’s arrival as the club’s head coach.

Centre-back: Inigo Martinez

Formerly from Athletic Bilbao, Inigo Martinez has truly incorporated himself as a Barça player. His ability to break opposition lines with his passing has proven to be a great asset for Xavi’s team. More of the same would allow Barcelona to truly trouble Real Madrid.

Left-back: Alejandro Balde

Rested against Shakhtar Donetsk in their recent clash, Barcelona fullback Alejandro Balde looks set to start. His flashy pace and dangerous cutbacks could prove to be a massive problem for Real Madrid. He has given great performances against Real Madrid before, and Xavi will be hoping for more of the same.

CM: Ilkay Gundogan

Ilkay Gundogan remains one of the most experienced veterans in the team. Having played in some of the most high-stakes matches that football has to offer, his input will be key for Barça.

However, he is not just another veteran with good advice. Gundogan remains among the elite midfielders of today in terms of quality and will need to be at his best to face off against Los Blancos.

CM: Gavi

Gavi was suspended for the clash against Shakhtar due to a sending-off in the previous Uefa Champions League game. As a result, he missed the recent UCL outing but now arrives with full fitness and no fatigue.

His sharpness and technical brilliance will both be crucial for Barcelona. Moreover, his resilient attitude and tenacious fighting spirit will also help Barça in unique ways.

Right-midfielder: Joao Cancelo

With Ronald Araujo likely to occupy the right-back position, Joao Cancelo may have to be moved elsewhere. His creative brilliance and offensive threat are extremely useful for Barcelona, and that is why he has to play no matter what.

A hybrid position of a wide midfielder with more attacking freedom and not as strict defensive duties could be the way to go to bring out his best against Los Merengues.

Left-midfielder: Fermin Lopez

The man of the moment, Fermin Lopez is undoubtedly in red-hot form. His brilliant performance against Shakhtar previously was something no one could expect of a 20-year-old academy talent.

However, he continues to showcase that he truly is the real deal. A real hunger for victory coupled with a feisty rocket of a shot, Lopez could prove to be another problem for La Casa Blanca to contend with.

Second striker: Joao Felix

At first glance, the idea of Barcelona using a second striker may seem out of the blue. However, El Clasico is a stage where many greats of Barcelona have showcased spectacular new concepts.

Lionel Messi’s storied debut as a false nine also came against the Royal Whites, and it is not beyond Xavi Hernandez to replicate the thought and possibly introduce his own unique system with Joao Felix in a position where he has thrived before.

Centre-forward: Ferran Torres

Robert Lewandowski’s inclusion as a starter is still up for debate. As such, the natural choice to start as the center forward would be Ferran Torres.

The 23-year-old has enjoyed fine form this season, and has even scored consecutively in every game of the Champions League. His finishing touch and clever positioning could both come in handy against Carlo Ancelotti’s Los Vikingos.

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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