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Fermin, Roque start in a 4-3-3: How Barcelona should lineup against Cadiz

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Photo by Juan Manuel Serrano Arce/Getty Images

The morales are running high in Barcelona after the 2-3 win against PSG in the first-leg of the Champions League quarter-finals. However, the team will need to shift their attention towards Cadiz this weekend.

Xavi has repeated time and again that they will not give up on pursuing La Liga despite being eight points behind Real Madrid in the table. With El Clasico kicking off next weekend, a lot can change.

As far as the Catalans’ form is concerned, they are on a five-game winning run, and are unbeaten across all competitions since 27th January, a streak spanning 12 games.

And while Cadiz sit 18th in the league, they are a side that Barça must take seriously, as previous encounters have suggested.

Not too seriously, though, as the second-leg against PSG kicks off on Tuesday. Xavi will be forced into changes, some through the general need to rest player, and some through necessity.

Aheead of the game, Barça Universal looks at how the blaugranes should lineup tomorrow against Cadiz.

Defence: Changes across the back-four

The Barcelona back-four on Wednesday produced an absolute monsterclass in defence, and if not for two lapses of concentration and perhaps less-than-ideal goalkeeping from Marc-Andre ter Stegen, would have come out unscathed.

All four of them deserve to rest, and we predict Xavi to go bold with his defensive selection tomorrow.

Ter Stegen will continue to start in goal, but will likely find Andreas Christensen in front of him in central defence. The Dane is set to miss the second leg vs PSG after picking up a booking, which gives him a clear path to start.

Alongside him, fans might see Mikayil Faye start. He has been putting in solid performances for Barcelona Atletic, and could finally get his debut, as hinted by Xavi during the pre-game presser.

Joao Cancelo is suspended and should be replaced by Marcos Alonso, who has not played a single minute of football since 7th November. Hector Fort could come in on the right side of the back-four to take over from the brilliant Jules Kounde.

Midfield: Roberto retains his spot

Sergi Roberto put in a more than decent shift against PSG in midfield, but also picked up a yellow card, suspending him for the home tie. Regardless, he should be awarded with another start tomorrow vs Cadiz.

Roberto has been in solid form. (Photo by ANNE-CHRISTINE POUJOULAT/AFP via Getty Images)

With Ilkay Gundogan and Pedri definitely expected to rest tomorrow, Xavi could opt to start Oriol Romeu as his holding midfielder tomorrow, with Fermin Lopez expected to take up the most advanced position in the trident, perhaps even as a no. 10.

Attack: Roque gets his second start

The suspended Robert Lewandowski will get to rest and recover at home, which means Vitor Roque should have a clear path to start as a striker tomorrow. Although Marc Guiu is in contention for that spot, as well.

Both Lamine Yamal and Raphinha are also expected to be benched, with the latter especially putting in a shift-and-a-half vs PSG and winning the Champions League Player of the Week title, as well.

This opens up the door for Ferran Torres to start in his favoured right-wing positions, while Joao Felix is expected to occupy the slot on the left side of the trident.

Felix · Roque · Torres
Roberto · Romeu · Fermin
Alonso · Faye · Christensen · Fort
ter Stegen

Substitutes

The ideal plan for this game would be to put it to bed early on so Xavi does not need to bring on anyone important and potentially risk them.

However, Christensen could be preserved for El Clasico next weekend, especially because he is one booking away from suspension. This means one of Jules Kounde or Pau Cubarsi could come on to take his place in the heart of the quartet.

Xavi could also bring on Frenkie de Jong and Pedri to keep them match sharp for the PSG clash. One of them could even replace Alonso so that Roberto can shift to right-back and Fort to the left.

Marc Guiu should definitely be given chances off the bench as well. Him and Roque could work together as well, with one of Fermin or Felix playing behind them as the no. 10.

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