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  •  Xavi will put all the sacred cows in the final in Istanbul and will not watch the Clásico. Adama, Ferran and Aubameyang point to the lead. De Jong’s tackle could leave Gavi out.


Morally rearmed after their overwhelming victory against Osasuna, Barça looks at Turkey with morale, but also out of the corner of their eyes and with some suspicion. The azulgrana team insinuated their superiority against Galatasaray at the Camp Nou, but the 0-0 first leg left them in a somewhat complex situation with a view to the second leg. You just have to win. For this reason, Xavi is going to have to leave the Classic aside. At least until Thursday night.

Barça will play with the best at Ali Sami Yen. That means hanging out with the best, including the holy cows. At 35, 33, and 32 years old respectively, Piqué, Busquets, and Alba can now prepare for a tough week that will start in Istanbul and end in the Clásico. His experience must be key in a match that will require a good understanding so that it does not become a ball like the first leg at the Camp Nou. The captain’s absence weighed heavily last Thursday. Barça went for the first leg in the wrong ways and until Busquets appeared on the field, they were somewhat lost. But all three seem set for the match, with a lot at stake. In sports and image terms.

Without Alves, who was not registered for the Europa League, Sergiño Dest smells like a right back to try to stop Kerem Aktürkoglu, surely the most damaging player of Galatasaray in the first leg. Araújo, protected against Osasuna, also aims to start. He will have the whole week to work on getting the ball out since it is to be assumed that Domènec Torrent will float him again and force him to initiate Barça’s defensive actions. In the center of the field, one of the first big doubts. Busquets, Frenkie de Jong, and Pedri aim for starters, but that means leaving out Gavi, one of the best against Osasuna, and the player who gives the team the necessary point of aggressiveness.

Another option is to place the Sevillian as a false left-winger, but that plan did not work in the match against Elche, so the logical thing is to think that Xavi repeats with the Napoli forward. Ferran and Aubameyang are safe and Adama could be the right-winger, although it cannot be ruled out that Xavi plays the Dembélé card considering the state of inspiration he showed against Osasuna. Above eleven, however, Xavi will be very much on top of the team coming out with the level of intensity and concentration necessary to avoid surprises from the Turks.


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