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Raphinha, Busquets start in a 4-3-3: How Barcelona could line up against Real Madrid



Photo by ANDER GILLENEA/AFP via Getty Images

Barcelona will be hoping to take a step closer to their dream of winning the domestic treble this season when they take on Real Madrid in the Copa del Rey semi-final second leg on Wednesday.

Barcelona have already won the Spanish Super Cup this term and are on their way to lifting the La Liga title, having opened up a 12-point lead over second-placed Real Madrid.

The Blaugrana also have a 1-0 lead over Los Blancos in the cup semi-final from the first leg. A draw or a win on Wednesday at Camp Nou would take them into the final where they will face either CA Osasuna or Athletic Club.

Heading into the game, Barcelona have been hamstrung by injuries to four key players in Pedri, Ousmane Dembele, Frenkie de Jong, and Andreas Christensen. But they have shown the capability to cope without their stars and will look to pull off a fourth consecutive El Clasico win.

Ahead of the much-awaited contest tomorrow, we look at how Xavi Hernandez might set his team up against Carlo Ancelotti’s side at Camp Nou.


Marc-Andre ter Stegen is in sublime form this season and is without question one of the first names on Barcelona’s teamsheet, which will not change against Real Madrid on Wednesday.

Ronald Araujo has enjoyed tremendous success against Vinicius Jr while being deployed at right-back in recent Clasico encounters. And, there is no reason for Xavi to change a tactic that has worked wonderfully.

Another round of Araujo vs Vinicius (Photo by Alex Caparros/Getty Images)

Meanwhile, Alejandro Balde should slot in at left-back ahead of Jordi Alba. As for the heart of the defence, the onus will be on Jules Kounde and Marcos Alonso to keep the dangerous Karim Benzema quiet at Camp Nou tomorrow night.

Moving into the middle of the park, Xavi is all set to recall captain Sergio Busquets to the lineup after leaving him out on the bench against Elche over the weekend.

The veteran star will act as the pivot midfielder, flanked by Franck Kessie and Sergi Roberto on either side in the absence of Pedri and de Jong.

Gavi, who started in midfield in the last game, will essay the role of the false left-winger, with Xavi likely to revert to fielding four central midfielders after deploying a traditional 4-3-3 against Elche last time out.

Raphinha is back in contention after missing the last game due to suspension. The Brazilian should slot in on the right flank, which would mean no place for Ansu Fati or Ferran Torres in the lineup, despite the pair scoring versus Elche. Robert Lewandowski will be the No. 9.

Gavi · Lewandowski · Raphinha
Roberto · Busquets · Kessie
Balde · Alonso · Kounde · Araujo
ter Stegen


The duo of Fati and Torres should come out onto the pitch at some point in the second half, especially if Barcelona are in need of goals. Xavi could also turn to the experience of Jordi Alba either to see off the game or to help mount a comeback if things are not going their way.

Youngsters Estanis Pedrola and Pablo Torre could be granted some minutes, especially if the game is in the bag.

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