Barcelona play their third La Liga game in six days on Friday night when they play host to Europa League holders Sevilla.
Xavi’s squad management is quickly coming under scrutiny at the start of 2023/24, and he certainly hasn’t been aided by injuries to star midfielders Pedri and Frenkie de Jong.
Nevertheless, Barca otherwise boast a clean bill of health and the strength of Xavi’s squad will allow him to rotate pretty freely if he desires.
Here’s how Barcelona could line up for their La Liga duel with Sevilla on Friday night.
GK: Marc-Andre ter Stegen – The German produced his worst performance in a very long time on Tuesday night, but his status as Barca’s number one certainly isn’t under threat.
RB: Joao Cancelo – Xavi may opt for a change here in favour of superior defensive security, but Cancelo is imperative to Barca’s exuberance in attack.
CB: Jules Kounde – Rested on Tuesday, Kounde has to come back in on Friday night.
CB: Andreas Christensen – Ronald Araujo and Inigo Martinez’s struggles in Mallorca should see Xavi make two centre-back changes. Christensen has been such a reliable and consistent figure since joining the club.
LB: Alejandro Balde – No doubts about Balde’s spot in the team.
DM: Oriol Romeu – The Spaniard needs a big performance here after underwhelming during his recent outings. Xavi could soon make a midfield switch despite their injuries.
CM: Ilkay Gundogan – The German was off the pace on Tuesday, but he’ll likely continue in the side over Sergi Roberto.
CM: Gavi – Unlike his midfield partners, Gavi was excellent in the week and is currently playing at a very high level.
RW: Raphinha – The Brazilian scored a beauty at Mallorca and should’ve had a second after drawing Barca level at the end of the first half. While Lamine Yamal was majestic off the bench, Raphinha deserves to retain his place.
ST: Robert Lewandowski – There’s no doubt Lewandowski will return to the XI against Sevilla. He wasn’t on the scoresheet after coming off the bench on Tuesday, but his dummy essentially teed up Fermin Lopez’s equaliser.
LW: Joao Felix – It wouldn’t be a surprise to see Xavi rotate Felix out of the side on Friday with Lopez emerging as an option out wide. However, it’s more likely that the youngster will once again earn minutes off the bench.