Torres, Yamal to start: Barcelona predicted line-up vs Valencia


Barcelona's Spanish forward #07 Ferran Torres (C), flanked by Barcelona's Spanish midfielder #32 Fermin Lopez (L) and Barcelona's Spanish forward #27 Lamine Yamal, celebrates scoring the opening goal during the UEFA Champions League 1st round Group H football match between FC Barcelona and Shakhtar Donetsk at the Estadi Olimpic Lluis Companys in Barcelona on October 25, 2023.
Photo by LLUIS GENE/AFP via Getty Images

FC Barcelona take on Valencia in their upcoming outing in La Liga EA Sports. The Catalan giants may have reached a point of impossibility when it comes to the league title, but other objectives still remain alive for them. However, before they can be addressed further, Barcelona must first overcome their opponents.

For this encounter, Xavi will likely have most of his best players available for action. Moreover, keeping in mind that Barcelona really do not have any other competition to worry about anymore, it would not make sense for the Barça coach to start any eleven that is beneath his best possible one.

Here is how Barcelona could line up against Valencia.

Expected Line-up:

Goalkeeper: Marc-Andre Ter Stegen

There is little to no doubt about who should be in goal for Barcelona. The German goalkeeper remains a dependable option in between the sticks and his leadership as a team captain remains undoubted as well.

Left-back: Joao Cancelo

Had Alejandro Balde been available, it would not have come as a surprise to see him starting for Xavi’s Barcelona here. However, he remains injured and despite the problematic performances from the Portuguese star as of late, Joao Cancelo will likely have to start as the only possible option that combines both experience and quality.

Centre-back: Pau Cubarsi

Relentless in his growth and development, 17-year-old Pau Cubarsi continues to light up the field whenever he steps onto it. Despite being a defender, the young Barcelona starlet provides joy that is almost unheard of when it comes to talking about defensive players.

Centre-back: Ronald Araujo

The Uruguayan beast of Barcelona remains their most valuable defender. Despite recent links connecting him to a move away from the club, Ronald Araujo remains an absolute priority for Barcelona and his qualities are essential for the team both on and off the pitch.

Right-back: Jules Kounde

With no other senior option being equally as effective as a right-back right now and Joao Cancelo being occupied on the left flank, Jules Kounde remains Xavi’s best bet on the right flank of the defense.

CDM: Andreas Christensen

In terms of possible pivots for Xavi to choose from, Andreas Christensen remains his best choice. The Danish defender, now the experimental pivot, continues to provide defensive stability to the team as well as a towering presence that definitely helps the team in various departments.

CM: Fermin Lopez

While it is difficult to choose a player over Pedri, the circumstances may force Xavi to do so. The Barcelona midfielder has just recently returned to team training and due to him potentially not being at 100%, Fermin Lopez could step in. The brilliant youngster is no slouch himself, and continues to terrorize opposition defenses with his goal-scoring capabilities.

CM: Ilkay Gundogan

Through the presence of Ilkay Gundogan in the midfield, Barcelona have more experience to rely on. Despite various controversies that have come into being over the last few weeks, it seems that Barcelona and the German star have both already moved past them.

Left-winger: Raphinha

In terms of merit and recent performances, nothing but applause can be given to Raphinha. The Brazilian winger has stepped up and continues to showcase that he is far from done when it comes to improving as a player and offering more surprises to Barcelona.

Centre-forward: Ferran Torres

Given the poor performances from Robert Lewandowski as of late, it would not feel sensible for Xavi to deploy the Polish striker once again. Instead, a player like Ferran Torres who continues to prove himself in some way or the other every time he is on the field would be a valuable addition to the team.

Right-winger: Lamine Yamal

The youngster has not put a single foot wrong in recent games. Even when Barcelona are not performing as a collective group, Lamine Yamal has risen to the occasion and provided magic that very few players can replicate to give Barça some kind of hope.

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