FC Barcelona have reached a hurdle that could potentially be a turning point for the season. The Catalan giants hope to ensure their progression stays consistent throughout the remainder of the season. However, to ensure that, the first step for Barcelona is a clash against Real Betis.
Away from home, the Catalan giants will come face to face with one of Spain’s most formidable sides. Moreover, Betis have thus far remained invincible at their own home ground. Add to that a few missing key players, and Xavi’s Barcelona have a lot to do.
Here is how the coach could line up his Barcelona team.
Goalkeeper: Inaki Pena
Despite his clean sheet record not being great thus far, Inaki Pena remains Barça’s first-choice goalkeeper for right now. The Spaniard will be put to an extreme test against Real Betis, and he will need to ensure Barcelona remains alive without conceding early.
Left-back: Alejandro Balde
Gradually finding his footing again, the Spanish fullback has the explosiveness to cause opponents some problems. Xavi will hope his young left-back can cause Manuel Pellegrini’s side some real damage.
Centre-back: Jules Kounde
Scoring a great goal that gave Barcelona a lot of joy against Unionistas last time out, Jules Kounde will once again be included in the back line. The Frenchman’s composure and reading of the game should enable Barcelona to put up a fight against Real Betis.
Centre-back: Ronald Araujo
Suspended for the clash against Unionistas, Ronald Araujo is finally back in the team. The Uruguayan defender is one of the team’s most reliable guardians, and despite his poor outing against Real Madrid, he remains one of Barça’s most important players.
Right-back: Hector Fort
Thus far, Hector Fort has had a hard time disappointing Xavi. No matter where he is played and irrespective of the competition in front of him, he has performed well. With Joao Cancelo still injured, the youngster has a great opportunity to start in La Liga.
CDM: Frenkie De Jong
Xavi’s one consistent and absolute soldier in the midfield, Frenkie De Jong is a guarantee. The Dutchman’s versatility, ball progression, and ability to sense the right pass at the right time are crucial assets for Barcelona.
CM: Ilkay Gundogan
Started from the bench against Unionistas, but Ilkay Gundogan will undoubtedly be key against Real Betis. The abilities of the German can not be substituted by almost anyone else in this current Barcelona team as it stands.
Also started against Unionistas from the bench, Pedri will now be back in action for Barcelona. The Canary Islander provides a touch of creative magic in the midfield that very few players in the world can match.
Left-winger: Ferran Torres
With Joao Felix still struggling to find a consistent level, Ferran Torres could be Xavi’s first choice. The Spaniard seems to have found his own scoring touch, and is a much more dangerous force to take on this season for opponents. Scored a great breakaway goal against Unionistas last time out as well.
Centre-forward: Robert Lewandowski
Enjoying a good scoring form after quite some time, Robert Lewandowski again could return as a starter against Real Betis. His goals will be needed by Xavi and his teammates if Barça hope for a good result at the Villamarin.
Right-winger: Lamine Yamal
Expected to find a lot more chances in the coming games, Lamine Yamal will now likely have his opportunity. With Raphinha injured and Joao Felix struggling, it becomes an opening for the 16-year-old to work his magic.