The Catalans are without the Polish forward for three matches
The Robert Lewandowski soap opera is over and he is banned for three games. Shortly after that was confirmed, we saw a casting session for his spot - aka Barcelona’s Copa del Rey win over Intercity on Wednesday.
Ansu Fati, Ferran Torres and Memphis decay are the three players who are in with a chance of being selected in the Pole’s place for the games he is missing - against Atletico Madrid, Getafe and Girona.
The first of those matches is on Sunday night at the Metropolitano. It’s also the toughest, even though Atletico aren’t having a good season. They are fourth in the league, 11 points behind Barcelona and Real Madrid and out of Europe entirely. However they’ve won their three post-World Cup games and Barca have lost away against them twice in a row.
ANSU FATI’S TIME
The youngster was the only one of the three who did not start in the cup and what’s more, he came on and scored the winner in extra-time. The goal against Intercity could serve as a turning point for him. Xavi’s project needs inspiration from the jewel of La Masia. The coach spoke on Barca TV and said that Fati “must be very important from now on”. Ansu has four goals and three assists this season in 22 games - 807 minutes.
VERSATILE FERRAN TORRES
The forward has played No 9 in the two games this season that Lewandowski has not played in. In Pilsen he responded well and netted twice. Against Intercity he made good movements but was not accurate when he had chances. Xavi values his versatility and his productivity, beyond what statistics offer, but likes him out wide too for his different qualities to Dembele and Raphinha. A year after arriving at Barca, Ferran needs to take a step up. He’s the team’s third top goalscorer on five with one assist in 20 games - 839 minutes.
MEMPHIS, REALITY OR MEMORY
The Dutchman did not take advantage of his chance at the Rico Perez against Intercity. He will find it hard to get more minutes after a game where he was active but inaccurate. The doubts around his future and his lack of participation in the first half of the season mean he’s unlikely to be tasked with the job now. He’s got one goal in four games this season - 206 minutes.