Xavi could make three changes to the starting lineup for Inter Milan’s match against Barcelona
Barcelona returns to UEFA Champions League action in the second of eight games in October. The Catalans travel to Italy for a midweek match against Inter Milan in what is a crucial fixture for the group of death.
Barcelona will be eager to resume their free-flowing, goal-filled style of play after a solid, if unconvincing, win over Mallorca at the weekend. Xavi Hernandez will undoubtedly make changes to his starting lineup at San Siro and deploy his strongest available lineup.
The Nerazzurri have lost their last two Serie A games, allowing five goals. They are currently eighth in the league standings and have a low morale heading into the match against Barcelona.
Barca Universal brings you three lineup changes Xavi can make on Tuesday that could have a direct impact on the outcome.
Pedri for Franck Kessie
Franck Kessie was the heart and soul of AC Milian’s midfield last season. The Ivory Coast international saw Barcelona as the next big step in his career and terminated his contract with the Italian club to join the Spanish outfit.
However, he has struggled to get minutes under Xavi this season. He got a rare start against Mallorca over the weekend, but he struggled for the majority of the 90 minutes.
While he made no obvious mistakes, he appeared sluggish on the ball and lacked the finesse and agility that a Barcelona midfielder is expected to have.
It is still early in the season, but the 25-year-old will play an important role in upcoming games due to his unique profile.
Xavi, on the other hand, will prefer to start Pedri in the crucial game, as the teenager has been Barcelona’s best midfielder by far. The Catalans will look to pull the strings in the middle of the park with his dynamicity, vision, and ability on the ball.
Raphinha for Ansu Fati
Raphinha gave his all for the Brazilian National Team during the international break. Despite scoring two goals and assisting twice during his hiatus from club football, he came off the bench against Mallorca.
Despite Ansu Fati’s strong performance on Saturday, it is clear that Xavi’s preferred attacking trident consists of Ousmane Dembele, Robert Lewandowski, and Raphinha. With so much riding on the outcome of Tuesday’s game, the manager will take no chances and reinstate the Brazilian to the starting lineup.
Eric Garcia for Jordi Alba
In the previous game, Xavi chose to play Alejandro Balde at right fullback due to a severe lack of options at the position. As a result, Jordi Alba started at left-back for the first time.
Nonetheless, the manager will want the youngster to play on the left side against Inter Milan. Eric Garcia could be the key to solving this problem.
The Spanish defender can play as a right-back and could relieve Balde of his awkward position. As an alternative, he could play at center-back alongside Gerard Pique and Andreas Christensen in a formation change.
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