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Christensen, Pedri start in a 4-3-3: How Barcelona could lineup against Real Betis



Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images

After dropping points in their last four games in La Liga, Barcelona will hope to get back to winning ways when they host Real Betis at the Camp Nou for gameweek 32.

Xavi’s side are lucky, though, that Real Madrid have not managed to catch up to them during this time, having lost to Girona and Villarreal in the last four gameweeks.

Real Betis, meanwhile, are pushing for a place in Europe, currently sitting in sixth place. They are also just six points adrift of Real Sociedad in fourth place, and one off Villarreal in fifth.

Barcelona will have to be at their level best when they take on Manuel Pellergini’s side. Any slip-up now could contribute towards a generational bottle-job.

Thankfully, Xavi has most of his team fit and gunning now. Frenkie de Jong and Pedri returned to action over the last two weeks, while Ousmane Dembele is back in the squad list for this fixture.


Starting with the defence, there are a few guarantees. Given this has the potential to be an intense fixture, Xavi will be looking to start the best available backline. This starts with Barcelona’s player of the season, Marc-Andre ter Stegen.

With Andreas Christensen back, we expect him to return to the starting lineup immediately over Marcos Alonso tomorrow. Xavi confirmed in his press conference that the Dane is ‘100% fit’.

Ronald Araujo and Jules Kounde should retain their place in the starting lineup despite a horror-show in midweek against Rayo. The Frenchman will be placed as the right-back, while the Uruguayan continues as the centre-back.

This quartet will and should be capped off by none other than breakout start Alejandro Balde as the left-back.

Moving to midfield, Barcelona also have Sergio Busquets back in the squad list after the captain missed the Rayo game due to suspension. He will return to the midfield, starting as the defensive midfielder.

Pedri did not have the best time on his return in midweek, but will, in all probability start once again in central midfield, this time partnered alongside Frenkie de Jong, who started as the lone pivot last time around.

Crucial. (Photo by Alex Caparros/Getty Images)

Robert Lewandowski got the only goal of the game against Rayo, but should have done much better, having missed a few chances in the box. He will be looking to add to his 18-goal tally in the league tomorrow.

With Ousmane Dembele back in the squad list, Raphinha will face much more competition at the right-wing now. The Brazilian should, however, get another start in that role tomorrow.

The final piece of the puzzle will likely be Gavi on the left-wing. The teenager has been starting in his preferred midfield role over the last two games, but Xavi will be looking to add more control to his midfield against a dominant Betis side.

Predicted Barça XI: ter Stegen; Kounde, Araujo, Christensen, Balde; Pedri, Busquets, de Jong; Raphinha, Lewandowski, Gavi


Rest assured, the Camp Nou will definitely see Ousmane Dembele back tomorrow, even if he gets as little as 15 minutes on the pitch. The Frenchman has been sidelined for nearly three months now, and will be gunning to make his presence felt.

Elsewhere, we can expect Xavi to give some minutes to Franck Kessie in midfield, especially with Pedri still not 100% fit to play 90 minutes.

Ferran Torres and Ansu Fati are options to reinforce the attack, but it also possible that Xavi gives Lamine Yamal his highly-anticipated debut tomorrow.

Pablo Torre has also been receiving minutes off late, and could be called upon to add some creativity to the midfield.

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