Barça does not appear in the Champions League positions from matchday three. From the month of August. It is true that it drags the decline of the postponed match of the fourth day, the one that recovers today with Sevilla (9:30 p.m.) , and it is also true that he has not achieved results to achieve it. If he wins at Sánchez Pizjuán he will sleep fourth in the table, unless this Wednesday, Atlético relegates them if they beat Granada in their particular postponed match.
So Barça is presented with “an opportunity” to start to recover positions and extend the dynamic of good results that consists of only one: 3-2 against Elche. That opportunity, however, appears before a “very direct” rival for achieving one of the four places that give access to the Champions League next season, the priority objective of the Barça. At least, the three points would prevent Barça from losing the train of the head after cutting distances in the last day.
He is not only a direct rival of Barça, but also a candidate “to win any competition in which he participates”, in Xavi's words that includes, of course, the League. Xavi came to compare Sevilla with Bayern for their exemplary organization. “Sevilla is an example for us to follow”, he said using the plural, although he surely gave a personal opinion. Perhaps it is widespread within your coaching staff.
Lopetegui, Monchi and the scouts
Xavi spoke of Julen Lopetegui of a coach who is “a benchmark in recent years “, the figure of Monchi glossed, of styled and indisputable prestige as a sports director, and included the talent seekers of the coaching staff who have made signings that are the envy of Barça. Not surprisingly, Barça has been a regular client in negotiations with the Andalusian entity, although the last ones have been to sell Ivan Rakitic and request the loan of Luuk de Jong.
As “great equipment” as Sevilla may seem and very “spectacular” that is his trajectory of the last years, the Barça will not play complex. It will always be “daring, whoever the rival is”, assured Xavi. It was against Bayern, he recalled, although he was shorn with the 3-0 that expelled him from the Champions League.
Barça recovers Gerard Piqué, sanctioned on the last day. None of the injured will be ready until mid-January. Sergiño Dest drags a strong low back pain from which you do not feel fully recovered. Xavi explained that his absence from the team is not in retaliation for his bad game in Munich, but for that ailment that later has led to an overload of the adductors.
Three and only three of the subsidiary
It can be taken for granted that Barça will line up with three youngsters from the subsidiary. Only three, and no more, due to the regulatory restriction that forces any team to play with seven players with a first-team card. If one were expelled and there were only six left on the field, Barça would incur an improper alignment and lose all three points. Therefore, Nico, Gavi and Abde have come up with another competitor in the figure of Ferran Jutglà, debutant and scorer against Elche. Eight members of the subsidiary travel to Seville. To the four mentioned, it is necessary to add the goalkeeper Iñaki Peña, defender Balde, midfielder Álvaro Sanz and forward Ilias Akhomach.
You can also ensure the permanence of Marc André ter Stegen under the sticks. Your ownership is not in jeopardy. The mistakes made are attributed to a passing bad moment that anyone can suffer, although he recognized his contribution in the third goal against Villarreal, for example, for his shot towards Memphis. Solo Manuel Neuer, his German compatriot and the obstacle that deprives him of the title in the national team, is over the top.
Ter Stegen can be attributed the first goal of Elche, but Xavi attributed it to the bad pressure in the other corner of the field that allowed the Elche team to advance in the field. “It is a failure of the above”, pointed out the coach. “Elche fed on our failures,” he lamented the hardships experienced with a 2-0 in favor.
Xavi did not want to point out, however, those responsible for Barça having lost the characteristics of the model. After reporting it a couple of times, he no longer wanted to repeat his regrets that some footballers do not understand the basics of positional play. “I was shocked and that's it. Now it's my job to improve the players individually and as a group,” assumed Xavi, who has detected a clear improvement in the long month that he has been training his pupils.