FC Barcelona won’t have a lot of time to dwell on their disappointing 2-2 draw with Mallorca last weekend as they get set to host Seville at the Estadi Olímpic Lluís Companys.
Manager Xavi looked to rotate his side against Mallorca, and that backfired. Rotation is important, but there is such a thing as too much rotation.
The introduction of the new centre-back pairing of Ronald Araujo and Inigo Martinez was a point of contention with Barca struggling to handle the physical nature of Mallorca.
Barcelona now find themselves 3rd in La Liga following victories for both Real Madrid and Girona this week. Girona’s early season form has come as a surprise to many, and their form is making it difficult for Barcelona loanee Pablo Torre to gain many minutes with the club.
It won’t be easy against Seville with the Rojiblancos being undefeated in their last 4 games across all competitions, and coming off a dominant 5-1 win against Almeria.
How will Xavi elect to set up FC Barcelona against Seville?
It has widely been reported that Ronald Araujo will maintain his place in the team, but Jules Kounde will come in to replace Inigo Martinez, who was very disappointed in his own performance against Mallorca.
After giving Lewandowski a rest to start the last game, Barcelona’s #9 is expected to come straight back into the lineup with Ferran Torres dropping to the bench. Torres has had a good start to the year, but from a production standpoint, nearly all of his key contributions have come as a substitute.
In Midfield the team largely picks itself with Frenkie de Jong and Pedri still missing. Xavi would give Fermin Lopez an opportunity after his goal rescued a point for Barcelona against Mallorca, but I’d expect him to come in from the bench.
Barcelona are being careful with Lamine Yamal, so I’d expect Raphinha to keep his place on the right wing with Joao Felix playing on the left.
The only point of contention may be Joao Cancelo, who’s played a lot of minutes since arriving on loan from Manchester City. Cancelo had a disappointing game against Mallorca, and it may be that Xavi rests him ahead of a key Champions League game in Portugal against Porto. If that’s the case, Barcelona captain Sergi Roberto is likely to take his place.