S e v i l l a v B a r ç a

Super clash tomorrow. At the Sánchez Pizjuán against third-placed Sevilla. Regardless of the proximity of the other games, if there’s one match in which we can’t rotate, that’s tomorrow’s. We should go with our strongest XI. But what’s our strongest XI?

No De Jong, no Sergi Roberto, with both injured. The backline seems clear, regardless of the good displays from Araújo and Junior recently. But all the other non-Messi and Busquets spots are open. I could have been more adventurous with Riqui Puig, who I would love to see. But being more sensible, Riqui has only got 110 minutes this term, and in these encounters, especially away from home, we need slightly more established options – despite being convinced that Riqui would do well.

While Arthur did not have an outstanding performance against Leganés, I would certainly prefer him over having Vidal and Rakitić at the same time. Between the latter two, the energy, dynamism in the final third and pressing of Arturo has been more useful lately. The team needs a mobile profile from midfield like his.

Upfront, it depends, once more, on Suárez’s fitness. If he’s ready to play one half, I would pick him over Griezmann. For his understanding with his teammates, work up top and expertise in the striker role. For the left wing, it has been proven that Messi and Barça benefit more from having a direct winger like Braithwaite or Ansu. I find the 17-year-old more appropriate for home rather than away games of this caliber, thus why I chose Martin. But, again, there’s no one unique right option.

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