When Barcelona plays Real Sociedad away at Anoeta this weekend, they’ll be keen to respond forcefully and go back to winning ways after their loss to Real Madrid last Saturday.
It won’t be an easy journey to the Basque club by any means, but Barça will be even more motivated to try and cut the gap at the top following their error in the season’s opening El Clasico.
Sergi Roberto is the only Blaugrana player forced to miss time due to injury, while Xavi Hernandez is anticipated to recover both Pedri and Frenkie de Jong in time for the game.
Xavi has chosen the starting lineup already.
Now, Javi Miguel of AS claims that Barcelona manager Xavi has already chosen the starting lineup he will use on Saturday against Real Sociedad.
The Barça manager understands that his squad cannot afford to lose games since Girona and Atletico Madrid’s performances have already dropped them to fourth place in the La Liga standings.
Because of this, Xavi views the matchup with Real Sociedad as a “final” and will not be rotating much in favour of selecting his best starting eleven.
The plan is to start the strongest lineup possible to take advantage of whatever tiredness Imanol Alguacil’s squad may have following their midweek cup match.
Because of this, Xavi intends to start with Ronald Araujo and Andreas Christensen at centre back. The former will return to his natural position after starting against Real Madrid at right back.
Marc-Andre ter Stegen should start in goal, with Joao Cancelo and Alejandro Balde lined up at full back.
Oriol Romeu is once again left on the bench as Xavi is set to start with Ilkay Gundogan, Gavi, and Fermin Lopez in the midfield. No changes are anticipated in this area.
Robert Lewandowski is anticipated to start as the centre forward in the attack, accompanied by Joao Felix and Ferran Torres.
Time off the bench for Frenkie and Pedri, Against Sociedad, set to return.
The article goes on to say that although Frenkie de Jong and Pedri are expected to be included in the team, they will only play supporting roles.
This is consistent with rumours indicating that the Dutchman’s playing time against Sociedad will not exceed 20 minutes.
Off the bench, players like Raphinha, Jules Kounde, and Lamine Yamal are anticipated to play.