FC Barcelona could line-up in a 3-5-2 formation against Napoli in their UEFA Champions League return match this weekend. Quique Setién is said to be considering a formation switch away from his 4-3-3 and 4-3-1-2 schemes, although it is not definitive.
The lineup, according to the frontpage of Diario SPORT, would start with Marc-André ter Stegen in goal, and a three man line with Gerard Piqué in the middle, Clément Lenglet on the left, and Nélson Semedo on the right. Sergi Roberto and Jordi Alba would be deployed as wingbacks, with Frenkie de Jong, Ivan Rakitić and Riqui Puig in midfield, given the absences of Sergio Busquets and Arturo Vidal through suspension and the fact Arthur essentially quit the team.
Upfront, Lionel Messi and Luis Suárez would start, meaning Antoine Griezmann would come off the bench.
However, the cover of Mundo Deportivo tells a different story: Griezmann starts, and Puig is the one on the bench, and a more familiar 4-3-1-2 formation is used. The other ten players are unchanged, although some play different positions.
This would be an XI with Messi in the playmaking role, and Griezmann and Suárez ahead of him. The more familiar back four would deploy Alba as a left-back rather than wingback, and Semedo as a right-back rather than a right-sided defender. Interestingly, the graphic showed Rakitić in the holding role, with De Jong on the left side of midfield, when SPORT showed the opposite.
Barcelona formation vs. Napoli reported by SPORT (left) and by MD (right)— Luis Mazariegos (@luism8989) August 3, 2020
SPORT: 3-5-2 with Riqui
MD: 4-3-1-2 with Griezmann pic.twitter.com/8NsnHHZgnr
Setién used a three-man line earlier in the season but ultimately abandoned it. Some players admitted it was not a smooth transition after starting the season under Ernesto Valverde’s four-man line. Will the Cantabrian try again?