Barcelona will face German club Eintracht Frankfurt in the quarter-finals of the UEFA Europa League 2021/22 season. The Spanish side is one of the most in-form teams in Europe and is becoming strong favourites to win the trophy this season. The appointment of former player Xavi as a manager has changed Barcelona’s fortunes, and the Catalonian club is now returning to old form. Xavi has made some changes in the team and also signed a few players in the January transfer window. Barcelona have moved into second place in the league table and will look to carry this momentum till the end of the season. Xavi has made a few changes in the lineup. Let us have a look at how Barcelona could lineup in their first leg against Frankfurt.
Barcelona played in a 3-4-2-1 formation in their first UEFA Champions League match under Xavi. The group stage was concluded before the opening of the January transfer window, and the manager had fewer options on the bench. Clement Lenglet, Gerard Pique, and Ronald Araujo were the three centre-backs. Jordi Alba played as the wing-back along with Yusuf Demir, who played on the opposite side. Memphis Depay led the attack and was supported by Gavi and Nico Gonzalez. The match ended in a goalless draw.
In the last match of the competition, Barcelona played in a 4-4-1-1 formation against Bayern Munich. This time, Clement Lenglet was at the heart of the defence alongside Pique. Ronald Araujo played as the full-back along with Jordi Alba. Memphis Depay once again led the line and was supported by Ousmane Dembele and Sergiño Dest from the wider sides.
The average position of the starting XI shows that Barcelona played in a 4-3-3 formation. Sergio Busquets played as a defensive midfielder and was supported by Frankie de Jong and Gavi. Barcelona have recently started to play in the same formation but with different players in different positions.
In the recently concluded transfer window, Barcelona acquired the services of Ferran Torres, Pierre Emrick-Aubameyang, Adama Traore, and former player Daniel Alves. They have all been good additions to the team, and two of them have been regular starters. Pierre Emrick-Aubameyang led the attack in Depay’s absence and is still getting the nod ahead of the Dutchman. Ferran Torres was a big-money signing and has featured regularly on the left.
Barcelona are expected to lineup in a 4-3-3 formation. Marc-Andre ter Stegen is expected to stand between the sticks. Jordi Alba will play as the left-back, and Dani Alves could play on the opposite side. The experienced Gerard Pique will be the defensive commander and will be accompanied by Ronald Araujo. If Dani Alves is rested, then Araujo is expected to start as the full-back, and Lenglet will return to the team. Sergio Busquets will control the midfield along with Pedri and Frankie De Jong. Pedri has been a sensation and could be crucial in their quest for silverware. Aubameyang is expected to lead the team along with Ferran Torres and Ousmane Dembele.
Barcelona are the favourites to win the competition this season. The signings and change of manager have improved their situation in the league, and this is a great positive for the upcoming season.