FC Barcelona

Barcelona predicted lineup vs Elche - La Liga

Grey Whitebloom
Xavi Hernandez wouldn't be born for another six years when Elche last beat Barcelona (1974)
Xavi Hernandez wouldn't be born for another six years when Elche last beat Barcelona (1974) / Fran Santiago/GettyImages
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Catalan giants Barcelona welcome Elche to Camp Nou for a La Liga clash on Saturday afternoon.

A mercilessly effective Bayern Munich may have netted twice against Barcelona on Tuesday night but Xavi Hernandez's side have conceded just one La Liga goal across their opening five matches. The last time Barcelona enjoyed a more parsimonious start to the campaign Xavi was in the team in 2014.

Here's the XI the Spaniard may deploy to extend their strong defensive start.


Barcelona predicted lineup vs Elche (4-3-3)

1. Barcelona XI

Ousmane Dembele
Ousmane Dembele has created a division-high 14 chances in La Liga this season / BSR Agency/GettyImages

GK: Marc-Andre ter Stegen - Xavi's clear philosophy is how Ter Stegen has explained his marked improvement this season.

RB: Hector Bellerin - The Barcelona-born fullback came through the club's youth system but only made his senior debut last weekend after joining on a permanent deal from Arsenal.

CB: Ronald Araujo - Barcelona's number four is one of only two outfield players to have started each of the club's La Liga matches this season.

CB: Eric Garcia - Pep Guardiola insisted that Xavi didn't need to be his "heir" when he became Barcelona manager last November. Surely that role belongs to Garcia, who Guardiola says is "like a son”.

LB: Alejandro Balde - At school, Balde was so much faster than his peers that his teachers gave the rest of the competitors a headstart during athletics. Balde still won.

CM: Franck Kessie - The second Ivorian to ever play for Barcelona considers the first - Yaya Toure - to be his hero.

CM: Frenkie de Jong - The Dutch midfielder was born 14 years after Relax was released but his parents were enamoured enough with the work of Frankie Goes to Hollywood to name their son after the band.

CM: Pedri - He may have grown up in Tenerife more than 1,500 miles away from Camp Nou but Barcelona has been in Pedri's blood since birth. His grandfather founded the Pena Barcelonista de Tenerife-Tegueste, one of the first official Barcelona supporters clubs in the Canary Islands.

RW: Ousmane Dembele - Described as Barcelona's "knife" by Xavi, Dembele has sliced through opponents with ease this term, directly contributing to six goals in as many starts across all competitions so far.

ST: Robert Lewandowski - "It’s just been one of those days,” was all Xavi could offer as an explanation for Lewandowski's uncharacteristic profligacy on his return to Bayern Munich in midweek. Elche may bear the brunt of his frustrations.

LW: Ferran Torres - The January arrival scored his first La Liga goal for Barcelona against Elche last March.


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