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Raphinha, Fermin Lopez in a 4-3-3: How Barcelona should lineup against Getafe



Photo by JOSEP LAGO/AFP via Getty Images

Barcelona took on Napoli in the first leg of the Champions League round of 16 with the hopes of burying the fixture as deep as possible with the Italian outfit having changed their manager a couple days before the game.

And while the Catalans were quite impressive on the day, they could not find the win, with the game ending 1-1, courtesy of goals from Robert Lewandowski and Victor Osimhen.

Barcelona will be hoping to pick themselves up from that game as they now shift their attention towards Getafe in La Liga.

The Madrid outfit are often a pain for the Catalans, with the last two games between the sides ending 0-0. In fact, there has been a total of four goals in this fixture in the last five games, with Barcelona winning 1-0 and 2-1.

And while Barcelona have not won away against Getafe since 2019, they will be grateful that tomorrow’s clash takes place at the Olympic Montjuic.

Ahead of the game, BU takes a look at how Barcelona should lineup for this game, keeping in mind rotations and fixture congestion.

Defence: Cubarsi returns

Barcelona’s defence was flawless for nearly 90 minutes against Napoli, with the goal they conceded coming from one moment of brainfart from Inigo Martinez that saw Victor Osimhen through on goal.

That notwithstanding, we expect Xavi to make one major change in defence, which will likely be to replace Inigo for Pau Cubarsi, who was rested in the UCL. Ronald Araujo should partner him in the back-four.

Jules Kounde cannot and should not be rested after such a solid display, especially in context to how the rest of his season has been so far. Assuming he starts as right-back, Joao Cancelo will likely continue on the left.

This back-four will be tasked with keeping the second-top scorer in the league this season, Borja Mayoral away from Marc-Andre ter Stegen, who will take charge of the gloves.

Midfield: Pedri rests

Pedri covered more than 11 kilometres against Napoli, and came away with an assist, as well. However, given the intensity of the game, we believe the Spaniard should be rested to avoid fatigue and possibly another injury.

Instead, in his place, Barcelona should continue with Frenkie de Jong and Ilkay Gundogan as the starters in central midfield. Both players were solid in the UCL, and will likely be accompanied by Andreas Christensen as the holding midfielder.

Attack: Yamal benched

The most important priority for this game should be to not start Lamine Yamal. The 16-year-old has now played eight games straight and deserves to rest before Barcelona suffer another case of Ansu Fati.

Raphinha is fit enough to start now, and should be used as the right-winger tomorrow. It will also help him get back in form and match fitness, while giving the blaugranes some much-needed defensive help against a counter-attacking side like Getafe.

Joao Felix is also fit enough to start but will likely start on the bench, with Xavi opting for more control in the team. Therefore, Fermin Lopez takes the left-wing in our version of this lineup.

Fermin deserves more game-time. (Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images)

The La Masia midfielder’s energy and box-crashing will be crucial for this game, given Getafe’s physicality.

Finally, Robert Lewandowski should be given the nod to take charge of the no. 9 position once again, especially because Vitor Roque’s skillset will largely be neutralised against the opposition’s lowblock.

Fermin · Lewandowski · Raphinha
de Jong · Christensen · Gundogan
Cancelo · Cubarsi · Araujo · Kounde
ter Stegen

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