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Three changes Xavi could make to the starting lineup for Barcelona vs Celta Vigo



Photo by MARCO BERTORELLO/AFP via Getty Images

As Barcelona aim to return to the top of La Liga with a victory against Celta Vigo, after Real Madrid beat Getafe with a 1-0 win last Saturday, here are the three changes we anticipate for the clash on Sunday night.

Gerard Pique for Andreas Christensen

With Christensen succumbing to an ankle injury in Barça’s 1-0 defeat to Inter Milan in the Champions League, there have been suggestions that he could be out of action for a month.

As the likes of Jules Kounde and Ronald Araujo are also injured currently, Gerard Pique seems to be the automatic choice at centre-back.

Playing a mere 180 minutes in La Liga this season, the World Cup winner has been the fifth-choice central defender for the Blaugrana.

With every game virtually being a must-win match for the Spanish giants, Pique has the perfect opportunity of restoring the manager’s faith with a vintage showing.

Alejandro Balde for Marcos Alonso

As Barcelona failed to break down Inter Milan’s low block in their latest encounter, one of the many attacking contributors that was simply far from their very best was Marcos Alonso.

The former Chelsea left-back, who is known to bomb forward and have an eye for goal was too risk-averse in possession and seemed out of ideas from minute one.

On the contrary, Alejandro Balde took tons of initiative and perhaps outdid the ageing defender’s display in his short stint on the pitch.

With the youngster going from strength to strength this season, it is likely that he replaces the summer signing in the starting XI against Celta Vigo.

Raphinha for Ousmane Dembele

Against Inter Milan, Raphinha looked like a shadow of his usual self, as is often the case every time he is deployed as a left winger. However, it has been reported that Xavi is keen on utilising the Brazilian international in his usual right-wing spot to get the best out of him.

With Ousmane Dembele shining on the same flank, the Barcelona boss could rest the in-form wideman ahead of El Clasico next week, while assessing Raphinha’s showing against Celta Vigo.

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