David Villa scored the first goal against Sevilla - David Ramos
With a come-from-behind win against Sevilla in the last match, it's hard not to think that Barcelona were in some way practicing to overturn the two-goal deficit in their Champions League tie with Milan.
Sevilla came into the Camp Nou and took a one goal lead into halftime, but they awoke the sleeping dragon.
It's not the first time that Barcelona have erased a deficit this season. In fact, Sevilla should know all about it, having ultimately lost 3-2 after leading 2-0 in their previous meeting.
A key component in the comeback victories has been the the 3-4-3 formation. An ultra-attack minded set up, it sacrifices a defender for one extra forward compared to Barca's base 4-3-3.
David Villa has often been the key man in those formations, and that was the case again yesterday as he scored Barca's first in a fairly straightforward manner.
Villa is 5'9'', small for a central forward (just two inches taller than Lionel Messi), but he can still battle centerbacks with his clever runs. His headed goal was more the result of great positioning and a pinpoint cross from Dani Alves than any particular physical attribute.
Messi is and will always be the key man in the Barca setup, but if teams pay extraordinary amounts of attention to him, it makes sense to introduce another force in his space.
This is not a plan for every match; Barca encounter packed defenses every time and usually Messi will lead Barca to victory. Rather, it's for certain situations - especially like against Sevilla.
The question is: will it be used against Milan? And if so, when? Doing it from the start would ensure the most time to try get vital goals. But it could also open up the shaky defense to a goal.
If Barca keep the clean sheet, only two goals are needed. But if Barca concede only one, they would need to score four due to the away goals rule. Maybe the key would be to start in a 4-3-3, and then switch to a 3-4-3 as needed.
Barca could line up like this:
So, what do you think? Should Barca risk the 3-4-3 from the start against Milan? Use it at halftime? Or only towards the end?
3-4-3 against Milan?
From the start (92 votes)
At halftime, if needed (50 votes)
Towards the end, if needed (7 votes)
149 total votes