EUROPEAN FOOTBALL

Raphinha likely To Start Against Mallorca

Rumor

Raphinha looks all set to start against Mallorca in the La Liga fixture. It would be his start for Barcelona after a long wait.

Raphinha’s Role At Barca

Raphinha was anticipated to be Barcelona’s primary offensive threat when Ousmane Dembele left. Even though the club recruited Joao Felix on loan from Atletico Madrid on the final day of the transfer season, Ansu Fati and Ez Abde also departed the team during the closing days of the window, giving the Brazilians extra alternatives.

His season did not, however, get off to the best of starts. He was sent off against Getafe in the first half. Even after Raphinha’s comeback, Xavi chose to play Lamine Yamal on the right wing in the games that followed. The 26-year-old has made just one La Liga start so far this season. SPORT reports that he will likely start again against Mallorca.

Competition For Every Minute

This season, Raphinha will have to compete and scrape his way into Barcelona’s starting lineup. Every attacker is in form and vying for a berth.

With three goals in five league games, Ferran Torres has been one of the club’s most knowledgeable players this year.

With three goals and two assists in his first four games between La Liga and the UEFA Champions League, Joao Felix has also adjusted admirably.

Not to mention Lamine Yamal, a 16-year-old winger who has been performing far beyond his years and is having a huge effect.

His Time Will Come

Raphinha has undoubtedly played fewer minutes than he would have wanted. His effect on the pitch has nonetheless been enormous. In the last 30 or so minutes of the match against Real Betis, he was substituted in and scored on one of his first touches. He put in another strong performance in the Champions League match against Royal Antwerp. He caused the own goal with a cross and then helped Joao Felix score the fifth goal.

Raphinha was not credited with a goal against Celta Vigo this past weekend, but as a central player, he was able to penetrate the defenders with pinpoint crosses and excellently set up Joao Cancelo, who helped Robert Lewandowksi score the equalizer.

There is little to no question that he will be crucial to Barça as the campaign progresses, and a strong performance against Mallorca on Tuesday might solidify his place among the starters.

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