Barcelona kept their La Liga winning streak intact as they thrashed Sevilla 3-0 away. It was not the most beautiful performance from Xavi’s men. But it was a performance that got the job done for the Catalans. Robert Lewandowski was also on the scoresheet for the away side as they put up a clinical display. Sevilla themselves were not having the best of times and coming up against Barcelona is never easy. Xavi started his best 11 against a Sevilla side with no wins in the first 3 games of the season. And the dividends paid off pretty soon as Raphinha scored his first goal of the season.
But fatigue is likely to kick in at some point of the season. Barcelona are playing intense neck-to-neck games almost every week. The Champions League returns next week as Barcelona will face Viktoria Plzen at home. 3 days after that, they travel away to Cadiz in La Liga. The schedule is going to be tight for the players as the WC is also in November. If the squad will not be managed properly, injuries and fatigue will affect the squad and the performances also. Xavi knows that rotations are key as Barcelona competes in all competitions.
This is one of the advantages of having a big squad with great squad depth. Barcelona can field a strong 11 even after keeping key players on the bench. On rotations for the UCL, the Spanish coach said:
“Yes, there will be rotations. The calendar is very demanding, we need people to have minutes, there is tiredness, fatigue and niggles after the Sevilla match. We have a big squad and we have to rotate. That’s the idea.”
Barcelona will be looking to make a strong start in the UCL this season after crashing out of the group stage last season.
Alonso and Bellerin not yet fit
Marcos Alonso and Hector Bellerin and the newest additions to this brilliant Barcelona squad. Alonso agreed to terms with Barcelona months ago and Bellerin was signed on deadline day. The duo adds some much-needed squad depth in the full-back position for Xavi. But they are not yet at the level to start a match for Barcelona having played no minutes for their former teams this season.
On their fitness levels, Xavi said:
“They are two signings, they have to learn what we are doing. They haven’t had minutes this season and they need a little more physical work. Saturday they will be in the squad.”
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