Despite a Champions League defeat against Bayern Munich before the break, Barcelona have been a rejuvenated force under club legend Xavi Hernandez. They are chasing the La Liga crown after a dreadful 2021-22 season and the players must maintain the winning streak against Mallorca to keep pace with league leaders Real Madrid in the title race.
However, the gaffer will undergo a selection dilemma after an array of first-team stars picked up injuries while on international duty. It’s a heartbreak for in-form Ronald Araújo who is set to miss the World Cup, whereas the Dutch pair Frenkie de Jong and Memphis Depay have suffered hamstring strains. Jules Kounde and Hector Bellerin are also nursing their respective injuries, also a calf problem has jeopardized Ousmane Dembele’s availability on Saturday night.
Predicted 4-3-3 Barcelona Lineup Vs Mallorca
Marc-André ter Stegen has restored stability between the sticks overcoming last season’s difficulties. The German custodian is expected to keep his place on the road at Son Moix.
Amid the absence of Araujo, Kounde and Bellerin, Xavi should rely on versatile Sergi Roberto as a right fullback. Eric Garcia is likely to start in the heart of the backline along with Andreas Christensen. Veteran Gerard Pique has found himself down the pecking order so far this campaign. Teenage sensation Alejandro Balde has been majestic from the left, but the gaffer might bank on Jordi Alba’s experience in this tricky away contest.
Sergio Busquets should pull the strings from deep down the midfield with De Jong sidelined for the time being. Pedri has been a revelation in the middle of the park as he impressed once again for Spain after coming on as a second-half substitute against Portugal in their UEFA Nations League fixture. Gavi, the 18-year-old rising sensation, could be deployed in a box-to-box role, given his exquisite footwork, swift skills and all-round ability in the centre of the pitch.
Considering the past injury records, Dembele must not be risked versus Mallorca. Barcelona have ample attackers in their ranks and the manager should opt for Raphina and Ferran Torres from the flanks. Ansu Fati could also be deployed at some stage of the fixture, however, marksman Robert Lewandowski would grab all the attention once more after a sensational start to life at his new club. With 11 goals in 8 appearances, the 34-year-old Polish ace is enjoying his scoring form similar to the Bayern days.