Ansu Fati to start Barcelona derby against Espanyol on return to La Liga action

Barcelona manager Xavi Hernandez has almost his full squad back and available as they prepare for their local derby on the 31st of December against Espanyol.

After Raphinha and Memphis Depay returned to training on Wednesday, only Ousmane Dembele and Jules Kounde are absent. The French World Cup winners are due back next week but unlikely to feature so soon after their return.

Espanyol have been in turmoil of late, but the Blaugrana will not be without problems of their own. In addition to the missing French players, Robert Lewandowski will begin his three-game suspension after he was sent off against Osasuna.

Diario AS say that his absence will be compensated for by Ansu Fati. The Spain international is guaranteed to start through the middle against Los Pericos, and it is thought that Raphinha will begin on the right too, without Dembele.

The decision to play Fati is one of three more obvious chances that Xavi could make. The other two would be Memphis Depay or Ferran Torres through the middle. Ansu can claim to bring far more danger in the box than the other two, although Torres would perhaps stretch Espanyol more. Equally Memphis’ late arrival puts him down the pecking order.


Tags Ansu Fati Barcelona espanyol
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