Predicted XIs Barcelona-Osasuna: Xavi to continue trusting youngsters with 8 players out

Barcelona will return to action for the first time since Xavi Hernandez announced his upcoming departure this evening, as they kick-off against Osasuna at 19:00 CEST at Montjuic. The pair have met twice before already this evening, with the Blaugrana winning 2-1 in Pamplona, and 2-0 in Saudi Arabia.

The pressure will be on Xavi’s side to react following a 5-3 home defeat to Villarreal, which exposed more defensive issues. They have kept just two clean sheets in their last 17 games, a run dating back to the 4th of November. Marca believe Xavi will place his trust in the youth, with Hector Fort at left-back, and Lamine Yamal starting his fourth game in a row.

Oriol Romeu, Andreas Christensen and the injured Joao Felix will drop out of the side for Ferran Torres, Joao Cancelo and Pedri. Felix joins Raphinha, Marc-Andre ter Stegen, Inigo Martinez, Alejandro Balde, Gavi, Sergi Roberto and Marcos Alonso on the injury list.

Meanwhile MD believe that Pau Cubarsi will be trusted instead of Fort, with Kounde at right-back and Joao Cancelo at left-back, in a team that otherwise mirrors the above prediction. The only senior players on the bench for Barcelona will be Christensen, Oriol Romeu, Fermin Lopez and Vitor Roque.

Osasuna are missing Chimy Avila, who is in talks over a move to Real Betis, and Ruben Pena through injury. Jagoba Arrasate is back to go with a 3-5-2 formation, featuring the pacy Jose Arnaiz up front alongside Ante Budimir, who just hit double figures for the season. Los Rojillo picked up a point away to Sevilla on Sunday, and sit 12th, 10 points off Europe and 10 points off the relegation zone.


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