Academy prospect Gavi is in line for a start while Sergino Dest should feature at left-back when Barcelona lock horns with Cadiz on Thursday.
Barcelona will be raring to get back to winning ways when they lock horns with Cadiz this Thursday night as they look to alleviate some pressure created on manager Ronald Koeman.
The Dutchman has come under intense scrutiny of late due to the performances and the results, with rumours even claiming that Barcelona have already made their decision to sack him. Heading up to the game, Koeman refused to entertain any questions during the pre-match press conference and only read out a prepared statement, in which he said (h/t Barca Blaugranes):
“Hello everyone, the club is with me as the coach in a situation of rebuilding. The financial situation of the club is connected to the sporting activites and vice versa. This means that we as a team have to rebuild the football team without being able to make any big financial investments, this needs time.
“The young talent today could end up being the next big world stars in just a few years. In order to reconstruct this team means that young players get opportunities like Xavi and Iniesta had in their day, but we must ask for patience. The process that we are in right now, the staff with the team, deserves unconditional support, in word and in actions.”
With the manager not answering any questions, there was no fresh team news update provided. However, there are no comebacks in the official squad named by the club, with Sergio Aguero, Ousmane Dembele, Ansu Fati, Martin Braithwaite, Pedri and Jordi Alba all remaining unavailable. In addition, youngster Alejandro Balde also misses out after picking up an injury in the last game against Granada.
With both Alba and Balde unavailable, Barcelona do not have a natural left-back in the squad and could hand Sergino Dest a start at left-back, which should open up a starting berth for Oscar Mingueza at right-back. Ronald Araujo, who was the hero for Barcelona in the last game, should hold his place at centre-back, pairing up with veteran star Gerard Pique, who ought to replace Eric Garcian in the lineup.
Sergio Busquets and Frenkie de Jong are nailed-on starters in the middle of the park for the Blaugrana and that is unlikely to change against Cadiz. However, there should be one change in the centre, though, with youngster Gavi set to get the nod ahead of Sergi Roberto, after the teenage prodigy impressed in his cameo against Granada.
Luuk de Jong is unlikely to make the starting XI for Barcelona after a dismal display coming on from the bench on Monday night. Instead, Koeman is expected to stick with Yusuf Demir, Memphis Depay and Philippe Coutinho once again.
Barcelona Predicted XI: ter Stegen, Mingueza, Araujo, Pique, Dest, de Jong, Busquets, Gavi, Demir, Depay, Coutinho.