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Barcelona expected to start with Spanish duo as full-backs vs Inter Milan

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Photo by JOSEP LAGO/AFP via Getty Images

Following a narrow victory over RCD Mallorca, FC Barcelona are set to shift their sights to the UEFA Champions League as they meet Inter Milan later tonight.

It is a must-win game for the Catalans, who are coming on the back of a defeat to Bayern Munich. However, with Xavi dealing with various injuries across the squad, the Barcelona coach is set to face a selection dilemma against the Italians.

Especially in the defensive unit, Barça are missing out on the services of Jules Kounde and Ronald Araujo, who had both picked up injuries during the international break. Even Hector Bellerin has been ruled out, effectively leaving Xavi without a reliable right-back.

Hence, Xavi could be forced to implement a few tactical changes. And according to Toni Juanmarti, one of them could see Barça return to a back three, with Sergi Roberto and Marcos Alonso starting the game.

The idea is to deploy a back three involving Alonso, Eric Garcia and Andreas Christensen. The former Chelsea fullback will likely operate on the left-hand side of the back three, playing a more advanced role during the build-up play.

Roberto, on the other hand, will not feature on the right-hand side. Instead, he will operate as a midfielder, aiding other Barcelona central players, including the likes of Pedri and Sergio Busquets. Frenkie de Jong remains unavailable due to an injury picked up during the international break.

Roberto should offer the experience and composure to the Barcelona team, whereas Alonso’s ability to make marauding runs forward could be useful in the club’s bid to create chances against the Nerazzurri.

Not to mention, a back three will help Barcelona mirror Inter’s 3-5-2, thereby giving the Catalans more control in possession. However, with a depleted backline, it will be interesting to see whether the visitors can weather the storm from the Italian giants this evening.

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