How Would FC Barcelona Line-Up In The Classico? Strong Starting 11 Predictions

Robert Lewandowski and Xavi have started to take Barcelona where they belong.

It looks like the troubles of the last three years are beyond Barcelona, as this team led by Xavi Hernandez is aiming for the domestic double after the 2017-18 season. 

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A whopping 12-point lead in LaLiga over arch-rivals Real Madrid with 11 matches to go, makes it feel like FC Barcelona have one hand on the title. What lies ahead is a semi-final clash at home against Los Blancos, to reach the finals of the Copa Del Rey. 

The winner of the two will face the winners of the other semi-final tie between Atletic Bilbao and Osasuna on May 6th, 2023 in Sevilla. FC Barcelona goes into the second leg with a narrow one-goal advantage, but that might be enough if both teams fail to find the back of the net. An own goal from Eder Militao at the Santiago Bernabeu has made the difference till now. 

Xavi Hernandez has masterminded a three-game winning streak against Real Madrid and will be hoping to continue it on Wednesday. The Barcelona coach might have had some injury issues leading up to this game but in recent meetings has tactically outclassed his compatriot Carlo Ancelloti. 

Let us look at how FC Barcelona could line up for the semi-final clash at Camp Nou.

Defense – Backline

There is no doubt that Marc Andre Ter Stegn will be at goal for the Blaugrana, but the center-back pairing looks a little shaky. Andreas Christiansen is recovering from a calf injury, and is out of the fixture, so former Manchester City defender Eric Garcia will partner the French center-back Jules Kounde in the heart of this Barcelona defense.

The two players put incredible performances in the first leg and will do everything to keep the current Balon D’Or holder Karim Benzema in check. Ronald Araujo will be at the right back spot, and his battle with Vinicius Junior will be key to watch. Alejandro Balde will be back in the starting eleven after being rested against Elche over the weekend.


Just like Balde in defense, Sergio Busquets was also rested completely. It shows that Xavi is saving Busquets energy for this clash, and he is expected to lead the team on Wednesday. Frenkie De Jong and Pedri are out with injuries, so Kessie who scored a last-minute winner at Camp Nou against Real Madrid will feature in the starting line-up.

Sergio Roberto who is in form is also expected to start, and so does Gavi. Gavi has played as a left winger sometimes, and also an attacking number 10 to support Lewandowski and Raphina or Dembele. Xavi would love to outnumber the Real Madrid midfield with four against three getting a clear advantage in the middle of the park.

Attack – Up Front

Robert Lewandowski is probably the first name on the team list when Xavi is making a team, and the prolific striker who scored a brace against Elche will be the leader in attack. Over the course of the season, Xavi has had little luck finding his strike partner. Injuries to Ousmane Dembele, Ansu Fati, and even Ferran Torres have made it difficult, but we expect Raphina to start, just like he did in the last classico.

Raphina has been inconsistent from the start of the season but has started to find some form of late, and also gained Xavi’s trust. On the other hand, Ansu Fati and Ferran Torres scored against Elche, which would give Xavi more confidence and options from the bench in this high-profile clash.

Starting 11 (4-1-2-1-2)– Ter Stegn, Araujo-Kounde-Garcia-Balde, Busquets, Kessie-Roberto, Gavi, Lewandowski-Raphina

The Lewandowski vs Benzema battle will be the one to watch, as both teams eye for trophies at the business end of the season. Who do you think will make the difference?

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