Barcelona manager Xavi Hernandez working on Joao Cancelo tactical surprise for El Clasico

Barcelona manager Xavi Hernandez is considering springing a surprise for the first Clasico of the season, which kicks off at 16:15 CEST on Saturday. With the Blaugrana nursing five injured players a priori, Xavi could get inventive in order to stop Carlo Ancelotti’s Real Madrid.

According to multiple reports, Xavi is considering moving Ronald Araujo back to right-back in order to pit him against Vinicius Junior, as he has done whenever he has been able to call on the Uruguayan. That would in turn mean moving Joao Cancelo out of his usual right-back role.

With Raphinha recovering from injury, Lamine Yamal unlikely to play from the start, and Ferran Torres likely to play through the middle, Cancelo could be moved into a right-wing position ahead of Araujo. Presumably Inigo Martinez would take Araujo’s place in central defence.

This would be a return to the safety first approach from Xavi, who last season came up with a four-midfielder system to tackle Real Madrid, and could use just two natural forwards again. It would give Barcelona increased security, and allow him more options off the bench if he needs to switch things in attack.

Ancelotti may consider springing a surprise of his own. Eduardo Camavinga has started 10 of Real Madrid’s 13 games this season, but the Frenchman looks as if he will miss out, with the Italian manager preferring his impact off the bench.

Tags Barcelona El Clasico Joao Cancelo Real Madrid
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