COPA DEL REY
FC Barcelona’s possible lineup against Real Madrid in the Copa del Rey semi-final
Doubts surround the availability of centre-back Christensen, who suffered a knock in training.
Xavi will travel to Madrid on Thursday with the doubt in his mind of whether or not he can count on the services of centre-back Andreas Christensen, who suffered a knock in training to his knee and was forced to abandon the session early before its conclusion. On first glance, it just appears as though it’s a collision injury, a simple knock, but the club are waiting on the anti-inflammatory medicine to take effect to see whether or not the player will be ready for the game. It won’t be known until only a few hours before whether or not he will be able to feature.
But the signs look positive, as both the player’s entourage and the club assure that he will be OK to play and that the player is committed 100% to being ready for the game; as such they are optimistic about his quick turnaround.
If Christensen does not make the cut, it will likely be Marcos Alonso who steps in to deputise. The rest of the team will be pretty much the same as we expect. It is a starting XI that is shaped by who is not there rather than who is, as Dembélé and Pedri are both out, as it Robert Lewandowski, the top goal scorer.
Given these circumstances, the starting side that Xavi will put out at the Santiago Bernabéu looks like it will be Ter Stegen in goal with Araújo on the right side of defence to stop Vinicius; Koundé and Christensen/Alonso in the middle with Balde on the left. The midfield will be made up of Busquets, De Jong and Kessié; Raphinha, Gavi and Ferran at ‘9′ will make up the attacking trident.
As for the bench, the alternatives will be Ansu, who is back from a knee injury, Alarcón, a youth team attacker who played against Almería and Pedrola, another youth team forward.