The biggest game of the season is here for Barcelona as the Blaugrana travel to Germany to face Bayern Munich in the Champions League group stage finale.
Barça come into this one knowing that anything but a win will result in them finishing in third place in the group and going to the Europa League knockout stages. They will face a Bayern side that is yet to drop points in the group and utterly dominated Barça when these teams first met in the group opener.
The game will be played behind closed doors due to Covid-19 protocols in Bavaria, and Xavi Hernández will be hoping that the absence of a crowd will help his team in some way against one of the best teams in the world.
Let’s see how Barça could line up for the most important match of the campaign so far.
The biggest question for this one will be which formation Xavi decides to go with, and early reports claim that the coach will pick a back three for this one. If he does, Gerard Piqué and Ronald Araujo are most definitely going to be part of it based on their form.
Clément Lenglet started the last match against Real Betis and had a solid performance, but Eric García has played most of the minutes under Xavi and has a good chance to return to the lineup. Jordi Alba will also start, and the question is whether it’ll be at left-back or further forward as a winger depending on the formation.
If Xavi sticks with a back four, Sergiño Dest will probably get the nod at right-back with one of the center-backs dropping to the bench.
After the head injury scare on Saturday, Gavi is available and expected to start this one. Alongside him we will once again see the trio of Sergio Busquets, Frenkie De Jong and Nico González. Whether or not Gavi plays on the wing again or as an attacking midfielder depends on the formation choice.
If it is a 3-4-2-1 like we saw against Benfica two weeks ago, then Gavi and Nico will play in behind the striker with Busquets and De Jong as a double pivot. If it is a 4-3-3, Nico will play in midfield and Gavi will move to the left wing. Riqui Puig has a chance to play if Gavi isn’t 100%, although Puig’s performance against Betis did very little to warrant a start in Munich.
The time has finally come for Ousmane Dembélé’s first start under Xavi after three straight fantastic substitute appearances. The Frenchman looks sharp and ready for a big night in Germany, and he will most definitely start on the right wing for this one.
Whether he will be a classic winger or a wing-back will depend on the formation, but his job will be simple: face off against Bayern’s Alphonso Davies and try to use his skills to beat one of the best left-backs on the world. Memphis Depay will start up front simply because there are no other options for that position.
Possible XI (3-4-2-1): Ter Stegen; Araujo, Piqué, García; Dembélé, Busquets, De Jong, Alba; Nico, Gavi; Memphis
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