Frenkie de Jong and Ansu Fati will be back in the lineup for FC Barcelona when they face Atletico Madrid on Sunday. However, Robert Lewandowski will not be able to play in the match.
Barcelona is looking to increase their lead over Real Madrid in the La Liga standings with a win against Atletico Madrid on Sunday. Real Madrid suffered a loss to Villarreal on Saturday, giving Barcelona the opportunity to pull ahead in the standings. The match will take place at Civitas Metropolitano on Sunday night.
Xavi Hernandez is not dealing with any injuries heading into the upcoming fixture. However, Barcelona will be without two key players – Jordi Alba and Robert Lewandowski – as they are both suspended for the game. These are the only absentees from the traveling squad for the match.
During a pre-match press conference, Xavi addressed the challenge of playing without Robert Lewandowski in the next three games. He stated, “Both his absence and that of Jordi Alba is very sensitive. We will play with eleven and we will start with a ‘9’. You’ll see tomorrow who it is. We have tried different profiles and tomorrow we’ll make the decision.”
Xavi also discussed the team’s options in attack, saying, “We have a lot of options in attack. We will adapt to the opposition to attack better, defend better and win the game. Ferran’s work without the ball is very good. People don’t value him, but he helps us in defence, and makes good runs. Ansu is more positional. He’s different… Both can play as a No. 9 and there is also the possibility of Memphis.”
Ansu Fati will replace Robert Lewandowski in the forward line for the match against Atletico Madrid. Fati recently had a strong performance as a substitute against CF Intercity, and he will lead the attack with Ousmane Dembele and Raphinha by his side.
In the midfield, Xavi is expected to make several changes, with Pablo Torre, Franck Kessie, and Sergio Busquets likely to be substitutes. Frenkie de Jong, Gavi, and Pedri are expected to start in their place, forming a strong trio in the center of the field.
Xavi will be required to make a change in the defensive line due to Jordi Alba’s absence. Alejandro Balde is expected to start as left-back, with Jules Kounde moving to the right side. Andreas Christensen will likely fill Kounde’s vacant position, joining Ronald Araujo in the center of the defense. Marc-Andre ter Stegen will start in goal.
Barcelona’s Predicted XI: ter Stegen; Kounde, Araujo, Christensen, Balde; Gavi, De Jong, Pedri; Raphinha, Torres, Dembele.