Ansu Fati and Frenkie de Jong will likely return in a heavily-rotated Barcelona lineup against Elche at the Spotify Camp Nou on Saturday.
Barcelona will look to bounce back to winning ways after the midweek defeat in the UEFA Champions League when they play hosts to Elche at the Spotify Camp Nou on Saturday afternoon. And Xavi Hernandez barely has an injury concern hampering his preparations ahead of his side’s latest fixture.
Sergi Roberto is the only player unavailable for Barcelona this weekend, with the Spanish utility man missing out on the matchday squad due to an Achilles injury. But Xavi did not speak about Roberto during his pre-match press conference, instead taking the time to impose his faith in Ansu Fati and Ferran Torres.
Barcelona vs Elche Preview: Probable Lineups, Prediction, Tactics, Team News & Key Stats
The Barcelona boss said, “Ansu is fine. He’s a great player and he makes the difference when he comes on. It’s important to us. We may be expecting a little more intensity during the match, but he is gradually coming back, and he understands that is he coming out of a difficult situation.”
“I will decide [about Ansu]. You have to be prudent. Last year, we were maybe too rash with the decision, and it was a problem. I have a lot of confidence in him [Torres]. The other day he made the difference, he’s an important players for the team and for me.”
Judging by Xavi’s comments, Fati and Torres should be a part of Barcelona’s starting lineup on Saturday against Elche, with Robert Lewandowski spearheading the attacking unit. That will also help Ousmane Dembele and Raphinha get a breather after their excursions in the opening month of the season.
Rotation will be the running theme across the starting lineup, and Frenkie de Jong and Franck Kessie will likely earn a spot in the eleven. Kessie and de Jong will join Sergio Busquets in the middle of the park, with Pedri and Gavi dropping to the bench to get some rest.
As for the defensive unit, Hector Bellerin will make his second start for Barcelona, with Jules Kounde likely to move into the heart of the backline. Kounde will form the central defensive partnership with Ronald Araujo, with Alejandro Balde expected to replace Marcos Alonso at left-back. Finally, Marc-Andre ter Stegen picks himself between the sticks.
Predicted Barcelona XI: ter Stegen; Bellerin, Araujo, Kounde, Balde; de Jong, Busquets, Kessie; Ferran Torres, Lewandowski, Fati
Xavi should not start gavi in the champions league. He should start him from the bench.when you are playing in the champions league against Bayern munchen xavi wants to play the midfield with kids. Bayerns midfielders are very strong in the air and on the ball. Xavi should use players like Jessie and dejong in the champions league matches rather than kids in the mid field. You think playing Pedri and gavi will win you games against Bayern. He should play them again in the return leg against Bayern and see whether he will win or not. Xavi is not learning from those defeats at all.
Xavi should start kessie and dejong in champions league games rather than Pedri and gavi. We all understand that Pedri and gavi are good players but xavi is experimenting with team by using this youngsters. Gavi and Pedri are the future of Barcelona but not now. We need experience in the mid field. Xavi should use kessie and dejong. Gavi and Pedri are inexperienced they lack experience in the game against Bayern when pressure was mounting on Barcelona. He should drop this youngsters to the bench otherwise Barcelona will not reach far .