Chance for Franck Kessie to step up in Clasico again

Chance for Franck Kessie to step up in Clasico again

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The Ivorian midfielder did well at the Bernabeu in the Copa del Rey semi first leg

The absence of Pedri is a setback for Xavi and for Barcelona. The Canary Islander was tested on Friday and did not have a good feeling. "We told him not to force it, it doesn't make sense, he has to be well for the final stretch of the season; this is not a final," said Xavi yesterday at the press conference before the Clasico between FC Barcelona and Real Madrid. And so the casting to see who can fill the vacant place in midfield begins. 

In SPORT we analysed the options yesterday. And the truth is that Franck Kessie is in 'pole position' to be a starter. Provided that Xavi opts to strengthen the midfield, of course. The 4-4-2 is the formation that has given the team the best results this season. More stuffing in the middle to short-circuit Madrid's quick transitions and reduce space in the engine room. 

It would not be at all undeserved for the Ivorian. He has had a good 2023. In fact, he has played in all 18 official matches that Barça have played this year. Eight of them as a starter. He started the first leg of the Copa del Rey Clasico at the Bernabéu and was one of the most outstanding players. 

With Kessie, Xavi knows that he gains in physically and also in arriving in the box from the second line. Obviously he doesn't have the associative ability or the vision of Pedri. Nor does he have Ferran's explosiveness, explosiveness and ability to create space. But he does have other virtues that could be key to tipping the balance.

Two goals and three assists in 31 games are Kessie's numbers so far. Let's see if he ends up playing a leading role in a vital Clasico for the outcome of the league.

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