Yamal, Martinez start in a 4-3-3: How Barcelona could line up against Napoli


Barcelona's Spanish forward #27 Lamine Yamal celbrates scoring the opening goal during the Spanish league football match between FC Barcelona and Granada FC at the Estadi Olimpic Lluis Companys in Barcelona on February 11, 2024.
Photo by JOSEP LAGO/AFP via Getty Images

Up next, FC Barcelona take on Napoli in the UEFA Champions League as they head to Italy. La Blaugrana know what is at stake in this competition, as it could possibly be their only shot at a title. For Xavi’s Barcelona, this upcoming clash against Napoli symbolizes a lot of great things.

Consequently, it becomes crucial for Xavi Hernandez to field as strong a lineup as possible. In his final season at the club, he will hope to at least finish the campaign on a strong note irrespective of the rough start that his team has suffered.

Here is how Barcelona could line up against Napoli.

Expected Line-up:

Goalkeeper: Marc-Andre Ter Stegen

The German veteran and Barcelona captain is finally back in action. With Ter Stegen back and Inaki Pena now benched, both the coaches and his teammates will likely play with a lot more reassurance about their guardian in goal.

Right-back: Jules Kounde

Given the threat of a certain Georgian winger for Napoli, Jules Kounde will be tasked with stopping him. The Frenchman brings in a great blend of both creative prowess as well as defensive stability when playing as a fullback.

Centre-back: Ronald Araujo

Still the main man in defense for Barcelona, Ronald Araujo is a bonafide defensive unit. The Uruguayan defender is a great example of the kind of defender that rules the European landscape in modern football. His influence and impact on this match will be crucial.

Centre-back: Inigo Martinez

While Pau Cubarsi has deserved all the chances that he gets, perhaps Xavi goes for a senior contender in defense this time around. Inigo Martinez is arguably as experienced as it gets, and the Spaniard’s addition to the team can bring both quality and leadership.

Left-back: Joao Cancelo

The Portuguese fullback, on loan from Manchester City, is a player with a lot of tricks up his sleeve. Possessing a creative and technically impressive solution to almost everything, his impact is always massive whenever he plays his best football for Barcelona.

CDM: Andreas Christensen

The Danish defender has turned out to be Xavi’s temporary solution to his pivot woes. Andreas Christensen is able to bring in a good mix of both solid defensive positioning as well as good passing range, and these allow Barcelona to create a lot of turnovers.

CM: Frenkie De Jong

Despite rumors linking him away from the club, Frenkie De Jong remains one of Xavi’s most trusted soldiers. The Dutchman’s ability to conjure something out of nothing is always a joy to watch, and even more joyous for his teammates when he pulls it off.

CM: Ilkay Gundogan

The German midfield Maestro possesses great passing awareness and the ability to make the right vertical connection when needed. His understanding of the game, and technical ability all combine to make him as good a midfielder as he is. The Blaugranes will be hoping that he steps up yet again against the opponents from Naples.

Left Winger/False winger: Pedri

In terms of creative prowess, perhaps no Barcelona player matches the quality of Pedri. The young Golden Boy winner is a player of a lot of qualities, and his composure is something that even the most senior of players can not seem to replicate.

Centre-forward: Robert Lewandowski

The Polish striker seems to finally have found his shooting boots again. Once again the main target for Barça’s chances, this time around he is converting the opportunities that come his way.

Right-winger: Lamine Yamal

The starboy in attack, Lamine Yamal is essentially irreplaceable for Xavi now. Despite his tender age, it is a testament to his quality that Xavi continues to count on him as a starter and beacon in his frontline.

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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