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Cancelo, Balde start in a 4-3-3: How Barcelona could line up against Osasuna



Photo by PAU BARRENA/AFP via Getty Images

After the summer transfer window came to an end on Friday with an exhilarating deadline day, the focus switches back to on-field action for FC Barcelona as they gear up to take on CA Osasuna on Sunday in La Liga.

The reigning champions of Spain have not had the easiest of starts to the new season but have found ways to stay on course, winning two and drawing one of their three matches so far.

A trip to El Sadar on Sunday night will not be straightforward by any means, but Xavi Hernandez will be buoyed by the shiny new additions to his squad in Joao Cancelo and Joao Felix, who arrived on the deadline day.

Inigo Martinez and Inaki Pena also make it to the matchday squad for the first time this season after being registered with La Liga, although Pedri and Ronald Araujo remain unavailable.

In what promises to be a tricky encounter, here is how Xavi could set his Barcelona team up against Osasuna at El Sadar.


Deadline-day signing Joao Cancelo should make his debut for Barcelona on Sunday, slotting straight into the starting XI at right-back, a position that has been a problematic one for the Catalans.

There should be a change on the opposite flank as well, with Alejandro Balde, fresh with a rest and a new kit number, returning at left-back in place of Marcos Alonso.

Jules Kounde, who garnered great praise from Xavi earlier today, should continue at the heart of the Barça defence, alongside Andreas Christensen. The pair will shield captain Marc-Andre ter Stegen in the Blaugrana goal.

Oriol Romeu has become a permanent fixture in the middle of the park for Barcelona since his arrival this summer. The Spaniard should continue as the lone pivot for the visitors at El Sadar tomorrow.

Key men. (Photo by Alex Caparros/Getty Images)

New signing Ilkay Gundogan and in-form man Frenkie de Jong should continue occupying their usual places as interior midfielders and will have a crucial role to essay.

Moving into the attacking third, Xavi has some major decisions to make as Ferran Torres has been in fine form coming off the bench while Raphinha is back after serving his two-match suspension. New signing Joao Felix is also an option.

But the manager is likely to stick with Robert Lewandowski as the centre-forward after the veteran scored his first goal of the season against Villarreal. Teenage sensation Lamine Yamal should also hold on to his spot on the right flank based on his form.

Meanwhile, Gavi should start on the left as the false-winger, in the process becoming the youngest player to reach the 100-game landmark for Barcelona.

Barcelona Predicted Lineup: Ter Stegen, Cancelo, Kounde, Christensen, Balde, de Jong, Romeu, Gundogan, Yamal, Lewandowski, Gavi.


Joao Felix will, in all likelihood, make his debut for Barcelona on Sunday, coming on as a substitute in the second half. The same could hold true for fellow new signing Inigo Martinez as well.

Ferran Torres is becoming quite the super sub for Xavi and will have minutes off the bench again, while Raphinha should also feature following his return from suspension.

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