Xavi’s first Barcelona XI almost picks itself as injuries hit an already thin squad

Tonight, Barcelona face Espanyol in the first game of the Xavi era as head coach.

There’s already huge excitement, and while the new manager hasn’t had much time on the training pitch with his squad, there is already a lot of speculation about the team he will pick.

Marca have a few insights on what Xavi may have in mind.

Some players are certainties, either because of their obvious quality or because of injuries to their alternatives.

Marc-Andre Ter Stegen will play in goal, with Sergi Roberto filling in at right back.

Eric Garcia and Gerard Pique are the best options at centre back, with Jordi Alba hopefully ready to play on the left of defence.

Sergio Busquets and Frenkie De Jong should be regulars in this new look team in central midfield, and with Pedri now out injured, we could see Nico play once again.

Memphis Depay is the only specialist striker available and will start up top, Marca suspect supported by Gavi and Philippe Coutinho.

There are a host of academy kids ready for their debuts, and we may see a few of them, given how thin the squad is being stretched at the moment.

Tags Gavi