Barcelona will look to get back to winning ways following a disappointing 2-2 draw against Mallorca away from home as they take on Sevilla tomorrow at home.
Girona have taken the top spot in La Liga’s standings following Barcelona’s draw, at 19 points, with Real Madrid sitting in second place with a point less.
The blaugranes are without two of their most important players in the squad in the form of Frenkie de Jong and Pedri.
The former sustained an injury against Celta Vigo and is expected to be out until November, at the very least. Pedri, on the other hand, could return to the team following the international break next month.
And while Sevilla are far from their ideal form, sitting in 12th place, the historical importance of the game probably means Xavi will go for the strongest possible starting lineup.
Reports have claimed that Ronald Araujo will return to the starting lineup for this weekend clash. He should be given the nod alongside Joules Kounde returning to the lineup, and Andreas Christensen getting another rest.
This duo will shield Marc-Andre ter Stegen, who was the heart of two mistakes against Mallorca, and will be looking to get back into form.
Joao Cancelo has played nearly 400 minutes across five games since signing for Barcelona, while also clocking over 90 minutes for Portugal. He could be rested in favour of Sergi Roberto, who will don the captain’s armband.
Alejandro Balde should be the final piece of the puzzle in defence, starting as the left-back.
Oriol Romeu had his first disappointing outing for Barcelona against Mallorca. However, with Frenkie de Jong and Pedri out, the Spaniard is pretty much guaranteed a starting spot and will look to tighten things up in midfield again.
Ilkay Gundogan and Gavi are also, therefore, expected to start, with Fermin Lopez on the bench.
Robert Lewandowski started from the bench in midweek but should be back in the team as the sole no. 9 of the team.
The Pole has been in excellent form since Barça shifted to a conventional 4-3-3, scoring four goals and assisting three in four games.
Joao Felix did not score or assist for the first time in five games for Barcelona and Portugal but will continue as the left-winger, with Ferran Torres on the bench.
Xavi commented on managing Lamine Yamal‘s minutes, but with the Champions League game against Porto coming up next week, the coach will want Raphinha properly rested. As such, we can expect the 16-year-old in the XI.
Felix · Lewandowski · Yamal
Gundogan · Romeu · Gavi
Balde · Kounde · Araujo · Roberto
Ferran Torres will be one of the first names off the bench for Xavi, regardless of the context of the game.
Elsewhere, Joao Cancelo can be called into midfield or right-back to add more control or attacking depth, depending on the context of the game.
Yamal will almost definitely not participate for the entire 90, and therefore, could make way for Raphinha, who seems to be in excellent form at the moment, coming off a Man of the Match showing against Mallorca.
Fermin Lopez scored his first goal for blaugranes on Sunday, and could make way into the team once again, especially with the lack of midfielders. Marcos Alonso could also be called on to rest Balde.