Three alternatives for Xavi to replace Raphinha as Barcelona face Cadiz

Coach Xavi Hernandez of FC Barcelona during the La Liga EA Sports match between Getafe v FC Barcelona at the Coliseum Alfonso Perez Stadium on August 13, 2023 in Getafe Spain 

Barcelona did not have an ideal start to the defense of their La Liga title, as they could only draw their opening match against Getafe. Now the team is looking forward to their second match of the 2023-24 La Liga campaign, as they face Cadiz at the Montjuic.

Xavi will have to work without some of his players for this match, as Marcos Alonso and Inaki Pena are unlikely to be registered before this match kicks off. Furthermore, Ronald Araujo also suffered a hamstring injury in training, and is out for around one month.

Raphinha to miss the Cadiz match with suspension

Xavi will also be missing another player in attack, i.e. the Brazilian winger, Raphinha. Raphinha got a red card in the last game, as he hit a Getafe player with his elbow, and thus is suspended for two matches.

Therefore, Xavi, who himself is also suspended for two games, will have to plan his attack without the services of the Brazilian.

In this regard, Diario AS reports that there are three main candidates to replace Raphinha in the lineup for this match. These three players are Ferran Torres, Ez Abde, and Lamine Yamal, and all three have a different case to make for a starting spot in this match.

Ferran Torres

The report mentions that Torres is currently the favorite to start this match in Raphinha’s stead. The former Manchester City player performed well in the pre-season matches for Barcelona and was the top goal-scorer in the pre-season. Torres is also comfortable playing on the right wing, and his experience also makes him a preferred choice as opposed to the other two possible starters.

Ez Abde

Ez Abde has also been in a good form, which has continued throughout the last season when he was playing on loan at CA Osasuna. The player also had a good outing against Getafe, but he operates best on the left wing, and Xavi might not be putting him ahead of Torres on the right.

Lamine Yamal

This match can be Lamine Yamal’s first start with the Barcelona first team, but he is unlikely to be playing this game from the start.

Despite the good performances he put up in the USA, in the Joan Gamper Trophy, and against Getafe, he might not yet be ready to start a competitive game for Barcelona. However, he can be a good option off the bench, and thus can still impact the game.

Thus, Ferran Torres is likely to get his first start of the 2023-24 season tonight, but Abde and Yamal also have a chance to get minutes with the suspension of Raphinha.

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