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Xavi set to recall two key Barcelona stars to the lineup vs Real Sociedad



Photo by Alex Caparros/Getty Images

Barcelona have a great chance to reclaim second place in the La Liga standings when they take on Real Sociedad at Estadi Olimpic Lluis Companys on Monday night.

The 2-4 loss to Girona last weekend meant that Xavi Hernandez & co. slipped down to third place, which put their qualification for the Spanish Super Cup for next season at risk.

However, with Girona dropping points last night, Barça have an opportunity to move above their local rivals in the standings on Monday.

Xavi to recall Raphinha and Pedri

Real Sociedad, though, will be far from an easy opponent for Barcelona which is why Xavi is set to recall two key players to the starting lineup on Monday.

Indeed, as per Mundo Deportivo, key midfielder Pedri and star winger Raphinha will be back in the Blaugrana starting XI against Imanol Alguacil’s men.

Xavi opted to field four midfielders against Girona, opting to go with Sergi Roberto, Andreas Christensen, Ilkay Gundogan, and Fermin Lopez – a strategy that did not come off for his team.

As such, he is set to revert to a traditional 4-3-3 on Monday, with Pedri and Raphinha, who made substitute appearances last week, in line to start, at the expense of Roberto and Fermin, respectively.

Raphinha could replace Fermin vs Sociedad. (Photo by LLUIS GENE/AFP via Getty Images)

Pedri’s presence in the team means Barça are more effective in their ball circulation while his ability to find a killer final pass makes the team more dangerous.

Raphinha’s return provides an additional goal threat, while his ability to track back will help deal with the lively Takefusa Kubo.

Are any other changes likely?

There could be more alterations made by Xavi, with Marcos Alonso understood to be in line for a rare starting opportunity at left-back, at the expense of Joao Cancelo.

The Portuguese full-back could either be benched or moved to right-back, with Jules Kounde dropping out.

Otherwise, there are unlikely to be any other major alterations with the likes of Lamine Yamal, Pau Cubarsi, Ronald Araujo, and Robert Lewandowski, among others, expected to hold on to their spots.

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