Xavi to rely on veteran Barcelona defender for remaining La Liga games


Barcelona's Spanish coach Xavi is pictured sitting on the bench prior to the Spanish league football match between Deportivo Alaves and FC Barcelona at the Mendizorroza stadium in Vitoria on February 3, 2024.
Photo by ANDER GILLENEA/AFP via Getty Images

Although there is no trophy left to play for, the remaining four La Liga matches are still important for FC Barcelona as the second league place is on the line and not finishing as the runners-up can cost them a place in the Spanish Super Cup.

Thus, Xavi will have to take these games with full seriousness, and will have to ensure the team drops no more points as Girona will try to take advantage of every Barcelona slip to tighten their grip on the second position.

To ensure the maximum points from these remaining games, one of the areas that Xavi will have to work specifically on is that of the defense. The team has been conceding more goals than it should in recent matches, as evident from the four it conceded against Girona and another two against Valencia.

To solve this problem, SPORT reports that the Barcelona head coach is relying on the experienced defender Inigo Martinez for these remaining games.

The former Athletic Club defender showed his reliability when Xavi gave him a run of games this season. However, physical problems prevented him from continuing on this good run, and later, the emergence of Pau Cubarsi relegated him to the bench.

Still, the Spaniard has been getting greater prominence lately, as he came on during the second half to put a stop to the barrage of goals being sent by Valencia, and also ended the games against Mallorca and Las Palmas partnering with Pau Cubarsi in the backline and without his team conceding a goal.

In the coming games, Xavi can rest Cubarsi, and Araujo and Martinez will be the chosen center-backs. The upcoming game against Real Sociedad will be particularly special for the defender as this is the club where he made himself and still has some good friends in the La Reale squad. Then he is also expected to feature in the remaining matches against Almeria, Rayo Vallecano, and Sevilla.

These are also not going to be his last games in a Barcelona jersey, as has sometimes been speculated because of his lack of participation. Xavi is relying on the defender and his presence in the squad is guaranteed, especially as the futures of other defenders are far from certain.

Ahmad Sarmad Ansari
Ahmad Sarmad Ansari
Ahmad Sarmad Ansari has been covering Spanish football as a writer for Barca News Network for the last one and a half year and as an amateur football fanatic for more than 10 years. He mainly covers on and off-field happenings taking place at Barcelona including transfer news, administrative changes, match reports, and any other eventful news coming out of the club.

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