Alves in/Torres out: Barcelona’s predicted XI to face Athletic Club


An insight into the starting XI likely to be fielded by Barcelona boss Xavi Hernandez for the club’s meeting with Athletic Club this weekend has been provided on Friday evening.

The info comes courtesy of German Bona of Spanish outlet Diario Sport, who hints at a couple of changes to the side which made short work of Serie A giants Napoli on Thursday night.

The most likely introduction comes at right-back, where Dani Alves is expected to step in after seeing out his two-game suspension.

Sergino Dest, in turn, is in line to drop out. The possibility also exists, though, that Dest could slide across to left-back to provide Jordi Alba with some much-needed rest, with Oscar Mingueza also ready to step in should Xavi choose to shake things up on the left of his backline.

Alves in/Torres out: Barcelona’s predicted XI to face Athletic Club

BARCELONA, SPAIN – OCTOBER 17: Sergiño Dest of FC Barcelona is challenged by Gabriel Paulista of Valencia CF during the LaLiga Santander match between FC Barcelona and Valencia CF at Camp Nou on October 17, 2021 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Alex Caparros/Getty Images)

Further forward, the midfield three of Sergio Busquets, Frenkie de Jong and Pedri are expected to maintain their places, meaning Gavi is primed for a more attack-minded role.

And dropping out of the front-3 to make way for the teenage sensation, as per Sport, is likely to be Ferran Torres.

Ousmane Dembele is too pushing hard for a starting berth, but Adama Traore and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, as things stand, look primed to round out the Blaugrana’s attack against Athletic.

#FCB 🔴🔵

👀 Gavi también tiene muchos números de regresar al once y quien podría descansar por primera vez es Ferran Torres

— Diario SPORT (@sport) February 25, 2022

Haaland eyed

Turning attentions away from the pitch and towards the transfer front at the Camp Nou, the Barcelona faithful will no doubt have had their attentions firmly piqued by the latest comments of president Joan Laporta on Friday evening.

Speaking whilst in attendance at a club event in Catalunya, the Blaugrana chief was drawn on the chances of Borussia Dortmund sensation Erling Haaland landing at the club this summer.

And Laporta point blank refused to rule out the possibility, confirming Barca’s intent to build on an impressive January window, before directing a wry smile and wink towards the expectant media presence:

“We’ve done very well in the winter and the idea is to do better still in the summer”, the Spaniard explained. “Haaland in the summer? We hope that in the summer we can work well again and we are all satisfied with what we can achieve.”

Laporta with a wink to Haaland

— SPORT English (@Sport_EN) February 25, 2022


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