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Barcelona have selected three starting defenders for Napoli clash, who will be the fourth?



Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images

After securing a narrow win over RCD Mallorca on Friday night, Barcelona will shift their attention to the upcoming Champions League fixture against Napoli.

The Catalans are coming on the back of a 1-1 draw in the first leg, meaning they must secure a victory in order to advance through to the quarterfinal stage.

As Barça approach this crucial game, Xavi will stress the need to secure a clean sheet, knowing it will make things much easier for the attackers.

And as per Mundo Deportivo, it appears Xavi has already fixed his defensive line that will take on the Napoli attackers this midweek.

How Barcelona defence might line up vs Napoli

The report suggests Barcelona will continue to put their faith in Jules Kounde in the right-back position. The Frenchman has consolidated his place in the position and will look to offer the much-needed solidity out wide.

While Kounde will be tasked with the responsibility of keeping tabs on the Napoli frontmen, left-back Joao Cancelo will play a critical role in the build-up play.

Kounde will continue at right-back vs Napoli (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)

Cancelo’s ability to make marauding runs forward, coupled with his positional awareness make him an invaluable asset in Barcelona’s build-up play.

Given the absence of difference-makers such as Pedri and Gavi, Cancelo’s role as a creative fullback will become ever-so-important.

Xavi to choose between Cubarsi and Inigo Martinez

Pau Cubarsi has become an overnight star at Barcelona following his brilliant defensive performances in recent weeks.

The 17-year-old has shown exceptional maturity and ability to read the game. But at the end of the day, he still lacks the experience and the pedigree to excel at the highest level of football.

Starting him alongside Ronald Araujo, therefore, could prove to be a risk for Barcelona. And that is where Inigo Martinez comes into the fray.

The former Athletic Club defender brings a wealth of experience to the table. His experience and leadership could provide the ideal balance in the Barcelona defence.

Xavi, therefore, will have a decision to make as he chooses between Cubarsi and Martinez in central defence.

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