When FC Barcelona hosts Sevilla for a La Liga match at the Montjuic Stadium on Friday, there will be a lot of significant lineup changes.
Prior to Tuesday’s disheartening 2-2 away tie at Mallorca, head coach Xavi Hernandez vowed rotations at the beginning of the week, and he has more than fulfilled his word.
Ter Stegen, the goalkeeper, is looking for his first shutout in three games after allowing four goals in the previous 180 minutes despite stopping 27 of them in all competitions last season.
Alejandro Balde at left back and Andreas Christensen and Jules Kounde in the center will try to support him in this effort.
Xavi has again chosen Joao Cancelo to run out on the right instead of Ronald Araujo, who was a center-back against Mallorca.
However, Oriol Romeu is no longer the center of the midfield after a disastrous night in Majorca and has been benched.
Due to Frenkie de Jong’s injury, it appears like Ilkay Gundogan will start this match, with Gavi also playing in the center and Raphinha receiving a role akin to that of a number 10.
Joao Felix, a Portuguese player, is positioned on the left, and Lamine Yamal, a teenager, is manning the right side. Xavi targets them both up top.
Between them, Robert Lewandowski reclaims the striker position after Ferran Torres failed to make an impression in the game last week.
From Sevilla, Xavi anticipates a “rocky opponent” who is “physically strong” and who, under Jose Luis Mendilibar, has developed a firm understanding of how to play direct, vertical football.
“We play at home and we need the fans, and to get back to the good feelings in terms of playing and winning,” he added on Thursday.
With a win, Barca can reclaim first place in La Liga ahead of the other two front-runners for the championship at the moment, Girona and Real Madrid, who will play each other late on Saturday.