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Xavi planning to rotate for Barcelona’s Champions League opener

Viktoria Plzen are up next at the Camp Nou

FC Barcelona v Real Valladolid CF - LaLiga Santander Photo by Alex Caparros/Getty Images

Barcelona coach Xavi is reportedly planning on making some changes to his starting XI for the team’s next game against Viktoria Plzen in the Champions League.

The Catalans have made an unbeaten start to the season and will be hot favorites to begin the group stages with a win against Czech opposition.

Mundo Deportivo are reporting that Xavi will make at least four changes to this team and will rest Eric Garcia, Gavi, Ousmane Dembele, and Ronald Araujo.

The changes mean that Jules Kounde is likely to revert to his favored center-back role after playing at right-back for the last two games.

Kounde will partner either Andreas Christensen or Gerard Pique which means Hector Bellerin could get his Barca debut at right-back.

Frenkie de Jong is expected to return to the starting XI in place of Gavi, while Ansu Fati or Ferran Torres could get the nod in place of Dembele in attack.

There’s also a chance for fringe players such as Miralem Pjanic and Pablo Torre to get some game time against Plzen off the bench on Wednesday night.

Xavi has insisted both players are in his plans for the 2022-23 campaign but neither have seen a single minute yet.

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