clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Barcelona predicted lineup vs Real Betis: Lewy’s back, tell a friend

Barça travel to Seville for a massive league match

Girona FC v FC Barcelona - LaLiga Santander Photo by Alex Caparros/Getty Images

Barcelona begin a crucial month of February looking to go eight points clear at the top of the La Liga table for at least 24 hours when they travel to Seville for a big clash against Real Betis at the Benito Villamarín.

This will be the second meeting between these two in just three weeks after a very entertaining Spanish Super Cup semi-final that Barça won on penalties after a 2-2 draw in regulation. These two teams simply refuse to play boring matches, and we should expect more fun on Wednesday night.

Here’s how we think Barça will line up for this one.


FC Barcelona v Real Sociedad - Copa Del Rey Quarter Final Photo by Jose Breton/Pics Action/NurPhoto via Getty Images

The February calendar became a little less busy thanks to the Copa del Rey semi-final draw against Real Madrid which pushed the first leg all the way to March due to Madrid’s Club World Cup commitments, so Xavi Hernández doesn’t have a major need of rotating his squad with an unexpected full week of rest and training ahead after the next two games.

We can expect a very strong team both against Betis and Sevilla, but there might still be a player or two rested in one of those games to freshen up the side just a bit. At the back that should mean the return of Andreas Christensen who sat out against Girona, and it would be wise to give Jules Kounde a night off and partner Christensen with Ronald Araujo.

If Kounde is indeed rested there is an opening at right-back that will go to Sergi Roberto, and Alejandro Balde should return at left-back although Jordi Alba has a real chance of starting after his game-changing substitute cameo last weekend.


FC Barcelona v Real Sociedad - Copa Del Rey Quarter Final Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images

Xavi Hernández went with the dynamic midfield trio of Frenkie De Jong, Gavi and Pedri in the Super Cup meeting between these two since these two sides usually play fast-paced, transitioned-based matches that don’t really fit Sergio Busquets’ skill set. I don’t expect the coach to change his approach, so the favorite midfield of Barça fans is expected to get a run once again.

If Xavi does decide to have his captain on the pitch and try to slow down the pace, then Gavi will be the most likely choice to either go to the bench or be moved to the front three in the four-midfielder setup.


FC Barcelona v Real Sociedad - Copa Del Rey Quarter Final Photo by Jose Breton/Pics Action/NurPhoto via Getty Images

The injury to Ousmane Dembélé in the middle of his best season as a Barça player is a major blow ahead of a very important month, but the return of Robert Lewandowski to a full-time capacity after his three-game league ban is an important boost to the attack. The Pole had plenty of rest over the last few weeks so don’t expect him to be out of the team anytime soon.

The question now becomes who plays alongside the team’s top scorer, and given Raphinha’s poor run of form it might be wise to give the Brazilian the night off in this one to recalibrate and maybe gain some confidence with a strong substitute performance in the second half. If Raphinha is indeed benched for this one, then the returning Ferran Torres is the next best option at the right wing.

The big decision is on the left: will it be Gavi or Pedri on a four-midfielder lineup or will Xavi trust Ansu Fati one more time? The youngster struggled as a central striker but is clearly more comfortable with a wing role, and could have success against a Betis defense that struggles at full-back.

Possible XI: Ter Stegen; Roberto, Araujo, Christensen, Balde; Gavi, De Jong, Pedri; Ferran, Lewandowski, Fati (4-3-3)

How do you think Barcelona should line up against Real Betis? Let us know your thoughts, predictions and teams in the comments below!

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Barca Blaugranes Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of Barca news from Barca Blaugranes