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FC Barcelona Tactics: Time for Three At the Back?

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With Aleix Vidal out and Sergi Roberto in poor form is a shakeup in order?

FC Barcelona v Manchester City FC - UEFA Champions League Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

Here are some facts.

  1. Aleix Vidal is out for the season.
  2. Sergi Roberto is not in good form, and seems mentally fed up with the right-back position.
  3. Barcelona need a huge offensive display to pull off a miracle comeback against Paris Saint-Germain in the UEFA Champions League
  4. Barcelona have 3 starting quality centerbacks.
  5. Barcelona have a glut of decent-to-pretty-good midfielders, but no one outstanding candidate besides Sergio Busquets and Andrés Iniesta.

With these facts, isn’t three at the back the logical conclusion?

Barcelona have almost no right-backs, unless a signing is made. Samuel Umtiti is almost too good to keep on the bench. And the team has versatile midfielders.

Sergi Roberto could play either as a wing, or as a central midfielder rather than a fullback.

And there are basically two flavors of three at the back - 3-4-3 and 3-5-2. 3-4-3 has been tried before, with mixed success. It leaves the team open at the back, but that could be a worthwhile risk given the dire situation of the CL tie. Plus, maximizing risk when you’re down in the league table might also be a good idea.

3-5-2 is less radical and could give Barcelona more security, perhaps. Lionel Messi could play as a #10, which, more or less, he is already doing. Albeit now, perhaps, it would be more on purpose as part of the structure rather than as a result of less creativity in the middle of the park.

So, is there any future in this plan, or is tried-and-true 4-3-3 still the best answer?