Barcelona's right-back problem: Sergi Roberto and other alternatives

Barcelona's right-back problem: Sergi Roberto and other alternatives

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Bellerin, Kounde and Araujo are all out of action for the coming weeks

Xavi Hernandez only has Sergi Roberto available to play at right-back this weekend in Mallorca after losing Ronald Araujo, Jules Kounde and Hector Bellerin to injury.

Araujo and Kounde are bother central defenders who have been used at right-back this season, while Bellerin joined from Arsenal to add depth to the position following Sergiño Dest's departure.

Roberto has missed games recently through injury, too, but he should be available for Mallorca -- although it remains to be seen what role Xavi has for him.

Due to his recent injury history, Xavi may not want to put too much pressure on Xavi, so he could have to come up with some imaginative solutions to solve a defensive injury crisis.

If Roberto does not start, and Xavi sticks with a back four, he has two options: to either convert another centre-back into a right-back or to position a left-back there.

Christensen, ante el Rayo Vallecano


Eric or Christensen

Of the centre-backs, both Eric Garcia and Andreas Christensen have played at right-back before. It is more difficult to imagine Marcos Alonso, Jordi Alba or Alejandro Balde there. Alonso is the most versatile. He has played as a full-back, a wing-back and even in a back three, but never on the right side.

Another option is a back three (Christensen, Pique and Garcia) with Alonso or Balde as a wing-back. In this scenario, Xavi could opt for a hybrid: with the ball, the team shuts up with three centre-backs and without the ball Alonso or Balde slot in to make a back four.

Álvaro Núñez es una pieza clave en el lateral diestro del Barça Atlètic


The academy

There is a remote chance Xavi turns to the academy. The clearest option, in that case, would be Alvaro Nuñez, the 22-year-old who joined Barça Atletic on a free transfer from Athletic Club.

Rafa Marquez has been picking Nuñez ahead of Alpha Diounkou and the Bilbao player has delivered. Another option, known by Xavi, is Marc Casado, a midfielder who played for the first team in preseason at right-back.

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