Xavi to put his faith in the veterans for Barcelona vs Napoli

Date:

Barcelona's Spanish coach Xavi attends a training session at the Joan Gamper training ground in Sant Joan Despi, near Barcelona, on January 30, 2024.
Photo by PAU BARRENA/AFP via Getty Images

Up next for FC Barcelona is a clash in the UEFA Champions League Round of 16. The Blaugranes already know the uncertainty of their fate in La Liga, and their dismissal from other competitions. However, the Champions League remains one competition where Barcelona are the masters of their own fate.

Xavi’s team will thus put a lot of emphasis and focus towards the clash against Napoli up next. The trip to Italy will see them take on one of the Serie A’s most decorated sides, who remain dangerous despite their rather disappointing season so far.

To ensure that Barcelona remain competitive at the highest level and are able to play without the risk of making too many mistakes, Xavi Hernandez will likely go ahead with making certain changes to the side he fields against the team from Naples.

As per Mundo Deportivo, Xavi will likely rely less and less on the youngsters for this clash. While he will maintain his faith in the indisputable gems, others who have performed well may have to start from the bench this time around.

Pau Cubarsi, aged 17, is possibly going to be one of the youngsters sacrificed. In his stead, Xavi could opt to use Inigo Martinez. The 32-year-old Spaniard undoubtedly brings in a lot more experience and knowledge of the game than Cubarsi, and his involvement could thus lead to less mishaps.

Another name who will enter the lineup once again after being rested against Celta Vigo is Ilkay Gundogan. A proper veteran of the Champions League, having won it with Manchester City only last year, his inclusion will be crucial for Barcelona against a resilient Napoli team.

Moreover, in attack, it seems that Vitor Roque will likely start from the bench as well this time. While Lamine Yamal could remain a starter due to his great impact for this Barcelona team, Roque could end up being replaced by Raphinha.

The 27-year-old Brazilian winger is much more experienced than the new arrival from Athletico Paranaense, and could thus end up being Xavi’s pick for this crucial game.

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’.

Recommended Articles

Related Articles

‘It is also important’… Hansi Flick gives Barcelona a crucial reminder

Over the course of recent weeks, the priorities at FC Barcelona have become rather clear. At this moment...

28-year-old Barcelona target eliminates one major suitor

This summer will see FC Barcelona take on a lot of different transfer operations. No two deals will...

20-year-old Barcelona gem tipped to follow in Fermin Lopez’s footsteps

La Masia has time and time again proven to be the savior for Barcelona when the going gets...

New Barcelona coach rekindles a fire last seen with Luis Enrique

The arrival of German coach Hansi Flick at FC Barcelona has been positively received. While the departure of...

Barcelona give massive guarantee to €70m target’s entourage

Every summer, especially in recent times, FC Barcelona have had to tread with care. Not every operation goes...

Barcelona now have a date in place to present their new coach

It's been more than a couple of months since Hansi Flick was appointed as the new Barcelona head...

Barcelona have only one way of bringing back Joao Felix

The summer transfer window will likely present a lot of opportunities to FC Barcelona. At the moment, their...

La Liga club fretful as Barcelona intensify Nico Williams chase

Barcelona are ramping up their efforts to sign Athletic Club star Nico Williams with sporting director Deco even...

Fabrizio Romano says Barcelona are preparing new round of talks for Euro 2024 star

One of the worst-kept secrets in the transfer window is Barcelona's pursuit of Nico Williams. The Catalan club...

Out-of-favor Barcelona player continues to impress in pre-season camp

Ansu Fati is one of the players who is facing the most uncertainty about his future at FC...

Two Barcelona stars return from vacation, set to train under Flick

Hansi Flick's first few days of training Barcelona have been strange with most of the first-teamers away on...

‘Look at how he plays’… €120m Barcelona player used as an example to critique Alphonso Davies

FC Barcelona currently houses some of Europe’s most elite young talents. Many of these promising youngsters have even...