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Barcelona veteran could get minutes against Mallorca as Xavi plans rotations



Photo by PAU BARRENA/AFP via Getty Images

Having made a slew of changes to the starting XI for the game against Celta Vigo this past weekend, Barcelona manager Xavi Hernandez plans to rotate again this week when the team takes on RCD Mallorca.

The comeback win over Celta Vigo on Saturday, coupled with Real Madrid’s defeat to Atletico Madrid means that the Blaugrana are now leading the La Liga standings.

And, the aim will be to build on the advantage with another victory without losing a step even if the manager makes changes to the team.

Inigo Martinez to get a chance?

With rotations on the cards, SPORT is reporting that veteran defender Inigo Martinez could get a chance to feature for Barcelona against Mallorca.

The 32-year-old arrived at Barça for free during the summer window but has hardly played so far. Having been in recovery from the injury he sustained last season, the Spaniard missed the first month of the season.

Martinez made his debut for the Catalans against Osasuna earlier this month and featured against Real Betis after the international break.

In total, the former Athletic Club ace has played just 15 minutes across all competitions and was an unused substitute in the last two matches against Royal Antwerp and Celta Vigo.

Having hardly played over the past few months, Martinez needs minutes to get his sharpness back and the Mallorca clash on Tuesday would be the ideal setting for Xavi to use him.

Martinez to start vs Mallorca? (Photo by PAU BARRENA/AFP via Getty Images)

Given that Jules Kounde and Andreas Christensen have been used regularly by the manager, one or both of them could be given a break against Mallorca.

Ronald Araujo, who returned from injury over the weekend, could be in line to start and Martinez could feature alongside him or get minutes off the bench in the latter stages.

Other changes

There will be more changes to the team, with Alejandro Balde expected to return to the lineup at left-back at the expense of Marcos Alonso.

Lamine Yamal and Raphinha are pushing for a start on the right flank after Ferran Torres featured as a starter against Celta.

The midfield is likely to comprise of Gavi, Ilkay Gundogan, and Oriol Romeu with both Pedri and Frenkie de Jong out with injuries.

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