June 20, 2024

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Villarreal vs Barcelona, La Liga: Team News, Match Preview

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Barcelona is gearing up to maintain their undefeated streak in the 2023/24 season as they prepare to face Villarreal at Estadio de la Ceramica this Sunday evening. However, as the excitement builds for this clash, Barcelona’s manager, Xavi Hernandez, has been hit with an injury concern.

Pedri’s Injury: Unfortunately, Pedri has suffered a hamstring injury that will keep him sidelined for the foreseeable future. This injury adds to Barcelona’s growing list of injured players, joining Ronald Araujo in the treatment room.

Raphinha Absent: Adding to the challenges, Raphinha won’t be part of the squad traveling for the weekend’s game.

Xavi Hernandez expressed his thoughts on Pedri’s injury during his pre-match press conference, noting that it’s similar to a previous one Pedri had. He said, “The injury is similar to the one he had. We’ll see how he feels when he comes back.”

“He’s a player who takes care of himself, he’s done extraordinary work to gain muscle mass, but there are many variables: the games, the heat… What we try to do is prevent injuries and try to stop them from recurring. But it’s part of the game and sports in general.”

Ferran Torres to Step In: With Pedri out, Ferran Torres, along with Ansu Fati and Ez Abde, will have the opportunity to feature in the upcoming games. However, Torres is expected to start on Sunday, joining Gavi and Robert Lewandowski in the final third.

Tactical Formation: Barcelona is expected to line up in a 3-4-3 formation against Villarreal. This formation will morph into a 4-3-3 during different phases of the game, allowing Torres to play as a natural winger. On the other side, Lamine Yamal will also adopt a more advanced role while appearing as a right wing-back.

Midfield Unit: In midfield, the partnership will be composed of Ilkay Gundogan and Oriol Romeu.

De Jong as Center-Back: The tactical decision to employ a 3-4-3 formation means that Frenkie de Jong will start as a center-back alongside Jules Kounde and Andreas Christensen at the back.

Goalkeeper: As expected, Marc-Andre ter Stegen will be guarding the goal for Barcelona in their clash against Villarreal.

Here’s the predicted Barcelona XI for the game: ter Stegen; Kounde, Christensen, De Jong; Yamal, Romeu, Gundogan, Balde; Torres, Lewandowski, Gavi.

With Pedri’s absence and a few tactical adjustments, Barcelona will be looking to continue their impressive start to the season against Villarreal.

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