The Battle for the Starting XI: Joao vs. Raphinha at FC Barcelona


FC Barcelona is on the verge of the first leg of the UEFA Champions League quarterfinals against Paris Saint-Germain, which will take place on April 10 at the Parc des Princes. In this sense, Xavi Hernández is making the necessary preparations to define the starting eleven that will face the French teamalthough there are doubts about the return of Frenkie de Jong, Andreas Christensen and Pedri González.

In particular, the one from Terrassa could face a dilemma on the left side, since Raphinha, who has shown good performance recently playing in that position, seems to have his position assured despite playing in an unusual profile for him. Nevertheless, There is another player who seems to be quickly gaining ground to occupy that position in the duel against the Parisians: João Félix. In fact, according to journalist Toni Juanmartí, the Portuguese left very good impressions during the Barça team’s training session this Saturday.

Will it be enough for João Félix to start in the duel against PSG?

Under this premise, it is not at all ruled out that the former SL Benfica player, who entered as a catalyst in FC Barcelona’s last match against UD Las Palmas (1-0), being key in providing the assist for Raphinha’s score, giving him a pass with great individual technique, an ‘exquisite’ floated ball that surpassed the entire rival defensecould be part of Egarense’s starting eleven for the confrontation against PSG.

However, it must be taken into account that, despite the good level that the native of Viseu may be showing, Xavi has not lined him up as a starter in the Champions League since the second leg against Porto (2-1). Since then, he was a substitute in the clash against Antwerp (3-2). Likewise, in the series against Naples, he only played four minutes in the first leg, although it is important to note that he was just recovering from an injury at that time, and in the second leg he had just nine minutes of action.

However, there is a factor to consider that could work in João Félix’s favor. The Portuguese has had outstanding performances in the Champions League and He is among the top scorers of the Catalan team in this edition of the tournament, with a total of three goals, tied with Ferran Torres and Robert Lewandowski. We will have to wait to see if Xavi Hernández gives him the option of starting the commitment or if he decides to use it as a trigger.

2024-04-06 20:28:18
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