Xavi Hernandez desperate not to give away clues to Carlo Ancelotti ahead of selection dilemma

Barcelona are weighed down by injuries currently, with six players currently ruled out. With the exception of Sergi Roberto and perhaps Raphinha, all of them would likely start against Real Madrid. Yet ahead of El Clasico, Xavi Hernandez may look to keep Carlo Ancelotti guessing.

At least, that’s according to Sport. They say that Xavi, with fewer resources than usual, does not want to give away his tactics ahead of the game, with the likes of Frenkie de Jong, Robert Lewandowski and Raphinha potentially late additions to the squad. As such, he is considering not announcing Barcelona’s squad until hours ahead of the game, in order not to allow Ancelotti and Real Madrid to plan for less variations of the Barcelona line-up.

Meanwhile he has his own selection dilemma to consider on Saturday. Since arriving at Barcelona, Xavi has employed Ronald Araujo at right-back in order to combat Vinicius Junior’s ability.

However now with Joao Cancelo, a much more orthodox option available than Sergi Roberto and Jules Kounde, he must decide whether to move Araujo back to the middle for this Clasico, or stick with what works.

If he did move Araujo to right-back, Xavi would likely be using Inigo Martinez and Andreas Christensen as central defenders. Cancelo could potentially operate in midfield or on the right side of attack, but that would be the first time he had done so.

If Xavi is looking for a smoke and mirrors approach, it likely means there is little to hide. The return of de Jong, Lewandowski or Raphinha would be surprise on its own, thus Xavi might be trying to obfuscate in order to keep Ancelotti on his toes.

Tags Barcelona El Clasico Real Madrid Xavi Hernandez
La Liga - Club News