The post Pep Guardiola era did not start well with a trophy-less season for Barcelona. But Luiz Enrique has once again given the Treble to the Catalan’s as they won the Champions League, La Liga and the Copa Del Rey in the previous season. They have a great squad and their style of football can tear apart defenses at will. So the manager will try his best this season as well to give the club another season to remember.
They have not had a great pre-season but once the season starts, they will want to be at their best. In this article, we will take a look at the best XI that Barcelona can play in their first game of the new season.
Like last year, Claudio Bravo will be given the chance as the stopper in the league and Ter Stegen will be used for the Cup fixtures. Both of them are well established and will provide plenty of support to the defense of Barcelona. Gerrard Pique and Thomas Vermaelen will most probably start at the heart of the defense. Both are strong in the air and this pairing will help the club overcome the problems they have had with set-pieces last season. If Veramelen is not up-to the task, they have the ever reliable Mascherano to help them out at the back.
Dani Alves after signing a new contract will surely occupy one of the flanks. Jordi Alba with all his speed will start on the other. This gives the defense a very solid look going into the season.
Busquets is one of the players who will find his place beside Mascherano in the defensive mid-fielders position for the treble winners. With Xavi no longer in the ranks, Iniesta and Rakitic will have to play at their best if they want to repeat the last year’s feat. They also bought in an experienced La Liga player in Arda Turan but he cannot play for them till January due to the FIFA restrictions they are under. The mid-field of Barcelona is very fluid and all the players occupy different positions during the game which makes it harder for opponents to cover them.
So the likes of Rakitic and Iniesta can also play an attacking game with all the possession that the club usually have. Though club legend Xavi will leave a huge hole in the mid-field, the club will be hoping that the squad can fill the hole to an extent and move on to the future.
This is where Barca’s stregth lies. The South American pairing at the front in Messi, Neymar and Suarez scored 120 goals in all competitions last season. There are very few teams that can handle the trickery and skill of these three. Messi who looks like he is getting better by the day is looking extra-ordinary playing at the right of the front three. To add to this, the selflessness of all the three has given Barcelona one of their most successful seasons last year.
Luiz Enrique also has the like of Pedro and Munnir to call upon of his front three are not able to finish the job. But Barca’s style of play allows them to use the same team in almost every match of the season even in the busier times.
Barcelona will want to strengthen their defense and if they can re-capture their form from last season, they will easily be one of the most exciting teams in Europe.