FC Barcelona lost to Bayern Munich 2-0 away from home in the UEFA Champions League, but it wasn’t due to the midfield. Barcelona’s defense let in two quick second-half goals while the attackers missed several chances. Stats showed that Barça dominated proceedings, but were unable to turn that into a favorable scoreline.
Barcelona’s midfield - Pedri, Sergio Busquets, and Gavi - was their strongest line. And it seems Xavi will stick with these three as starters despite having some very capable options in Frenkie de Jong and Franck Kessié.
De Jong did start two matches this season, once in place of Pedri and once in place of Busquets. Kessié has also made one start, against FC Viktoria Plzeň. Both have a goal to their name and have generally played well. But Xavi has trusted his Spanish trio so far in the big matches.
Speaking of Spain, Luis Enrique should be happy seeing Barcelona’s midfield. While other teams will mostly have to put a midfield together from several teams, Lucho has a midfield trio that already plays and trains together. This could be Spain’s starting midfield in the FIFA World Cup this year, although Spain do have a plethora of talent to choose from.
Busquets doesn’t have many years left at Barça and has expressed an interest in leaving for MLS before his skills fully diminish. But Barcelona have Pedri and Gavi, who recently signed a new deal, for a very long time.
The lineup has weaknesses, to be sure. But their overall level of play away to Bayern was something to watch, and there won’t be too many sterner tests this season.
De Jong and Kessié will get minutes either way. With 5 substitutions now, it’s inevitable. However, they will have to really make the most of it to try to break into the starting XI in the big ocassions.