The woes of the Barcelona bench against Real Betis – report


ANTWERPEN, BELGIUM - DECEMBER 13: Marc Guiu of FC Barcelona celebrates after scoring the team's second goal during the UEFA Champions League Group H match between Royal Antwerp FC and FC Barcelona at the Stadion Bosuil on December 13, 2023 in Antwerpen, Belgium.
Photo by Joris Verwijst/BSR Agency/Getty Images

FC Barcelona arrive at their next big hurdle as they take on Real Betis. However, despite the rather inconsistent form of both competitors, the game promises to be an exciting one. In fact, very rarely do games between Barcelona and Betis manage to disappoint.

On one hand, this game could be a gateway for Barcelona to begin their climb in La Liga. With Girona having dropped points in their last game, Barça have a chance to reduce the gap between their Catalan challengers. However, there is a rather significant change in this upcoming game.

As highlighted by SPORT, injuries and casualties haunt Barça significantly at the moment. This is because those missing players are essential to Xavi’s plans, and there are no direct replacements for them in the team either.

Ultimately, Xavi has had to rely on the subsidiary and youth setups to provide depth. Players like Marc Guiu, Hector Fort, Pau Cubarsi, Diego Kochen, and Ander Astralaga are the ones who have had to heed Xavi’s call. However, SPORT highlights how their lack of experience can be a massive danger.

In fact, if Sergi Roberto starts and this leads Hector Fort to start from the bench, the Barça substitutes hardly have any Blaugrana first-team experience.

Hypothetically speaking, even if both Lamine Yamal and Joao Felix are added to the likes of Guiu, Fort, Kochen, Astralaga, Cubarsi, Vitor Roque, and Oriol Romeu on the bench, they have accumulated a total of around 4500 minutes in the Barcelona first team.

Lamine Yamal has a total of 28 games played, Felix has 25, Romeu has 23, Lopez has 21, and the rest have significantly fewer. Guiu’s four appearances alongside those of Roque (3), Fort (2), and Cubarsi (1) make up the total.

As an example, even Ferran Torres with his 100 Barcelona appearances alone has more outings than the entire bench combined.

Ultimately, this leads to the worry of their impact if asked to come on from the bench. With a lack of experience, they are not exactly reliable injections of quality in a tense environment. For this reason, trusting the unmistakable quality of these young talents can be a double-edged sword.

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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