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Raphinha, Gavi start in a 4-3-3: How Barcelona could line up against Osasuna



Photo by JOSEP LAGO/AFP via Getty Images

After a resounding victory over Real Betis over the weekend, Barcelona will be aiming to repeat the heroics again when they play hosts to CA Osasuna tonight at Spotify Camp Nou.

After several months, manager Xavi Hernandez had a near-full strength Barça side against Real Betis and it showed on the pitch. The team will now look to build on that victory and edge closer to winning the La Liga title.

Heading into the game, Barcelona are without just one player – Sergi Roberto – who is out with an injury and could return against RCD Espanyol later this month.

Given that the league leaders are not in action for close to two weeks after tonight’s match, Xavi will unlikely make any major changes after Saturday’s clash and look to field his strongest possible lineup again.


Marc-Andre ter Stegen kept his 24th clean sheet in La Liga against Real Betis, becoming the Barcelona goalkeeper with the highest number of shut-outs in a single league campaign. He will now look to add another to his tally later tonight.

The German international will be ably supported by Xavi’s first-choice defensive line comprising Jules Kounde, Ronald Araujo, Andreas Christensen, and Alejandro Balde. The latter is on four yellow cards and will need to be watchful to avoid a suspension for the next game.

Another start beckons Christensen. (Photo by JOSEP LAGO/AFP via Getty Images)

Barça captain Sergio Busquets will continue to anchor the midfield, with key duo Pedri and Frenkie de Jong being in charge of providing the creativity and the forward impetus from the centre of the park.

Gavi, meanwhile, will be the fourth central midfielder, operating as a pseudo-left-winger for Barcelona against Osasuna.

Robert Lewandowski found his goalscoring boots against Real Betis and will be aiming to add a few more to his tally especially with Karim Benzema closing in on him in the race for the Pichichi Trophy.

The right flank will pose a big question for Xavi as he has to decide between the returning Ousmane Dembele and Raphinha. The latter could get the nod as the Barça boss could look to ease the Frenchman back into action after a lengthy spell on the sidelines.

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


Ousmane Dembele is certain to get some minutes for Barça in the second half in case he does not start tonight against Osasuna. Ansu Fati and Ferran Torres, who are staring at uncertain futures, are other options that Xavi will likely turn to from the bench at Spotify Camp Nou.

Lamine Yamal made history when he came on off the bench to make his first-team debut for Barcelona against Real Betis. The 15-year-old youth prodigy could be in line for his second appearance tonight versus Osasuna.

Franck Kessie or possibly even Pablo Torre could come on in the second half to provide relief for one of Pedri or Frenkie de Jong who have only recently returned from injury layoffs.

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