Barca Coach Xavi set to rest two key Barcelona stars against Granada tonight
Given the number of injuries Barcelona manager Xavi is dealing with at the moment, he is rightly expected to make a few changes in the playing XI that will take the field against Granada tonight.
In this regard, if a report from Mundo Deportivo is to be believed, the likes of Ronald Araujo and Ilkay Gundogan could be rested in order to have the rotation Xavi is looking for.
At the moment, star forwards Robert Lewandowski and Raphinha, and crucial midfielders Frenkie de Jong and Pedri are all nursing their problems.
Adding to that, Real Madrid’s recent 4-0 win over Osasuna is only going to put more pressure on the squad considering the fact that the team from the Spanish capital currently leads the table with four points.
Apart from the injuries, Xavi will not have most of the first-team regulars available in training due to international commitment next week, meaning that he will look to field a strong XI tonight while bearing in mind that the workload is minimal.
Who’s going to start?
Now, Araujo ended up with cramps during Barcelona’s recent match against Porto and according to MD, he is likely to be given a rest. Although the Uruguayan has trained normally, he is most likely to start on the bench.
Araujo has already had a couple of injuries this season and considering the fact that he will be travelling with the Uruguay national team for the World Cup qualifying matches against Colombia and Brazil, Xavi could give him a much-needed rest.
As a result, Jules Kounde and Andreas Christensen are likely to start the fixture with Alejandro Balde and Joao Cancelo occupying the wings.
What about midfield and attack?
As far as midfield is concerned, the Barça manager might opt to rest Gundogan, who has been on the field for the entire duration of the last five games.
Being the captain of the German national team, he is also expected to play a significant role in their upcoming friendly matches.
In turn, a certain Fermin Lopez could be slotted in the heart of the field. This is mostly because the player has consistently delivered when entrusted by Xavi.
In the attacking department, Ferran Torres is the most likely candidate to step in as a replacement for the injured Lewandowski. He will be supported on the flanks by Lamine Yamal and Joao Felix.