FC Barcelona are set to face Valencia on the 24th matchday in La Liga. The Catalans will have to get into this match without a number of their starters who are currently injured, while Gavi and Xavi himself will also be absent with a suspension.
Gavi took the fifth yellow card in the league game against Almeria. As a result, he will miss this upcoming match, and Xavi will have to work on a different lineup for this game. The main question with the absence of Pedri and Gavi relates to the team formation, whether Xavi will go out with a 4-man midfield or get back to a 4-3-3 formation.
Both these options are available to Xavi. If he goes with a three-man attack, he can play Raphinha on the right wing, Ansu Fati on the left, and Ferran Torres in the false nine role, as Lewandowski is also out with an injury. In such a scheme, Ansu Fati will move inside from the left wing, and his forward slot can be temporarily taken by Alba or Balde, whoever plays on the left-back position.
This formation would be particularly encouraging for Fati, as he needs minutes and support to regain confidence and form. Xavi can also go with this formation as the match is at Camp Nou, and the team is struggling with scoring goals in previous matches.
On the other hand, Xavi can stick to the four-man midfield scheme, which has paid high dividends in the recent stretch of matches. If Xavi adopts such a formation, his personnel would probably be Busquets, De Jong, Kessie, and Sergi Roberto.
Roberto signed his contract extension only yesterday, and this opportunity will further show the club’s confidence in the La Masia graduate. Another less likely option in such a scheme would be Pablo Torre, who had a good outing against Almeria and can make another appearance.
Whichever the personnel or formation Xavi adopts, Barcelona will have to ensure that they take all three points from this match to strengthen further their chances of winning the league and make records while doing this.