Sunday, June 4, 2023

Blaugrana Resurgent! Here’s How Barcelona Could Line Up With Their New Stars Next Season

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Sourav Bhakat
An ardent sports lover who loves to sleep, eat and watch Manchester City play. In that order.

Barcelona have come off a season where they won the League and the Copa Del Rey but still the mood around Nou Camp was somber due to the dizzying expectations from the best team in the world. Anything less than the treble is seen as something of a disappointment and while the expectation of a treble every year is unrealistic, Barca will know they have to step-up in multiple areas if they are to keep thwarting the challenge of the Madrid duo domestically and prevail in Europe at the same time.

The Catalans who are famous for their possession-based football, have plenty to be thankful to their front three of Messi, Suarez and Neymar who are popularly referred to as the MSN. The deadly combination and telepathy-like understanding have left defences all over the world in knots and their record-breaking statistics have played a huge role in Barca maintaining their lofty status last season.

While the attacking play of the Nou Camp outfit has not been subjected to scrutiny too often because of their near flawless performances, the same cannot be said about their backline. After the departure of Puyol, Barca have failed to successfully fill the gap. With sketchy performances from their subsequent defenders Mascherano was brought into the back-line as a make-shift defender. While he has managed to plug the holes with his experience and grit, it is public knowledge that he is averse to the position he has been played in.

Looking to avoid such a scenario Barcelona moved quickly this summer to capture French International Samuel Umtiti for a reported fee of £24.6m from Lyon. He is expected to slot alongside Pique and fans will be hoping he forms a partnership with the Spaniard which will solve their defensive frailties to an extent.

While they have made quite a number of new signings, most the players have been brought in with an eye on the future. The likes of Denis Suarez, Andre Gomes will be moulded and gradually introduced into the fold. While Lucas Digne has been signed to provide cover for Jordi Alba. Barcelona are rumoured to be in the market for a right-back after Dani Alves left for Juventus but they have sufficient cover in the form of Vidal and the versatile Sergi Roberto in case they fail to land their desired candidate.

FC Barcelona are expected to line-up in their usual 4-3-3 formation.

football formations

Andre ter Stegen will most likely start in goal with Seri Roberto/Vidal at right-back. Pique and Umtiti will form the central defensive pair and Jordi Alba will line-up at left-back. Iniesta, Busquets and Rakitic will most likely line-up in midfield with the cover in the form of Mascherano and the fresh legs of Gomes and Suarez. While Rakitic has been shockingly linked with a move away it is expected he will settle down and feature heavily next season. And Messi, Suarez and Neymar will form their usual triumvirate up top.

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