Barcelona will look to move a step closer to securing the league title, possibly at the RCDE Stadium against Espanyol, as they take on CA Osasuna tonight.
Preparations have already begun for the tie, as Xavi Hernandez looks to experiment with his starting eleven, against the backdrop of a formidable lead at the top of the table.
According to Toni Juanmarti, some of the Barcelona players have responded quite well in the pre-match training. Particularly when it comes to direct free-kicks, Marcos Alonso and Pablo Torre are doing extremely well.
It could be a good sign for Xavi as he looks to provide more game-time to the lesser-used players on the senior side. Alonso is certainly an option, having had a relatively poor year so far. It appears the solid defensive foundation between Jules Kounde, Andreas Christensen and Ronald Araujo has reduced the Spaniard’s utility in the first-team.
Meanwhile, Torre could be an exciting bet for Xavi. The youngster has not had much game time since joining the club last summer. But with the league title almost secured, it could be an opportunity for Xavi to hand the Spaniard some much-needed chances.
Torre excellent performance in direct free-kicks should boost his chances of getting selected, especially with Frenkie de Jong only coming back from an injury layoff.
Another young player in contention to receive more minutes against Osasuna is Lamine Yamal. The 15-year-old mesmerised onlookers with his skills against Real Betis while even becoming the youngest-ever player to feature in a Barcelona kit.
With a new deal just around the corner, Xavi should back Yamal to gain more regular minutes during the remainder of the campaign.