Barcelona fans have reacted following manager Xavi’s decision to field midfielder Raphinha in an unfamiliar No. 10 position in the La Liga clash against Sevilla on Friday (September 29).
Barca are one of only two unbeaten teams in the Spanish top flight after seven games, the other being leaders Girona (19). Xavi’s side are third, two points behind the surprise leaders.
Following a 2-2 draw at Mallorca in midweek, where they twice recovered from a deficit, Xavi and Co. will hope to return to winning ways at home to Sevilla. However, the manager has thrown a surprise by starting Raphinha at No. 10, as the Brazilian is at his best on the wings.
Fans reckon Xavi may be on to something with an aggressive lineup, with one tweeting:
“What is Xavi cooking?”
Another chimed in:
“For all those mediocre conservative lineups, Xavi is coming back with his aggressive lineups. This is gonna be fun to watch.”
Here’s a look at the top reactions on X, formerly called Twitter:
The Blaugrana have won five of their seven games this season, drawing two. Second-placed Real Madrid (18) are a point ahead of Barcelona but one behind Girona.
Barcelona manager Xavi makes changes galore after Mallorca draw
Apart from the tactical switch of playing Raphinha in an unfamiliar position, Barcelona manager Xavi has rung the changes following the disappointing 2-2 draw in Mallorca.
Andreas Christensen and Jules Kounde will start in central defense, replacing the pair of Inigo Martinez and Ronald Araujo. Oriol Romeu, who started against Mallorca, doesn’t start against Sevilla. Lamine Yamal returns to the starting XI, as does Robert Lewandowski, who replaces Ferran Torres up front.
Xavi said in his press conference ahead of the Sevilla clash that his side need to rediscover their defensive solidity from last season (as per Sport):
“We have to be more focused. Most people say that it is difficult for us to generate with a defense of five, but we created six very clear chances. The failure was in the defensive issue, in the pressure after losing, we have to be more concentrated; last year we were brilliant, and this year not so much. We have to maintain the defensive level of last season to win titles.”
Barcelona will go top of the standings with a win against Sevilla before Girona’s clash against Real Madrid on Saturday.