Predicted XIs Girona-Barcelona: Xavi to ring the changes for Catalan derby

Barcelona will aim to extend their winning run to eight in all competitions when they make the short trip to northern Catalonia to face Girona on Saturday afternoon.

With Real Madrid not playing until Sunday (vs Real Sociedad), Barca can put the pressure on their bitter rivals and move six points clear at the summit of La Liga.

Head coach Xavi Hernandez will hope for an improved display against Girona, with his side having been below par in the last two matches against Getafe and Real Sociedad. Barca went full strength against La Real, but Xavi has stated that changes will be made for the match against Girona.

Sport have Barca making five changes from the La Real match, with an almost complete change in defence. Sergi Roberto, Marcos Alonso and Jordi Alba are all expected to start, with Franck Kessie replacing the doubtful Pedri. Much like the last two La Liga matches, Ansu Fati is expected to play as the central striker in place of the suspended Robert Lewandowski.

The possible line-ups of Girona - FC Barcelona of LaLiga Santander

MD expect Barca to make similar changes but instead have Raphinha to start, with Andreas Christensen also keeping his place in the heart of the Barca defence from Wednesday’s game.

Girona lost in heartbreaking fashion last weekend to Villarreal, having conceded a penalty in the 101st minute to Dani Parejo, and head coach Michel will be hoping for his team to bounce back on Saturday. Barca target Arnau Martinez is expected to start, which will allow Xavi to get a good look at a potential future signing.

Saturday’s match is the two teams’ first meeting in four years, so it is an early anticipated fixture for good sides. The hosts sit firmly in mid table, but will be desperate to defeat their league leading opponents. Xavi and his side should be under no illusions as to how difficult their test will be in this one.

Tags Barcelona Girona La Liga Xavi
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