The new life of Xavi after the Clasico

The new life of Xavi after the Clasico

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Xavi must not have woken up very happy this Sunday. Barça lost the Clásico and Real Madrid are now four points clear in La Liga. However, the Blaugrana coach has several reasons to be optimistic. Apart from the great performances of players such as Fermín and Gavi, the clash against the eternal rivals marks the end of a precarious period in terms of personnel. The 'new' life is already a reality.

The Blaugranas faced the Clásico without Sergi Roberto, without Kounde, without Frenkie de Jong, without Pedri and with Raphinha and Lewandowski without any kind of rhythm and, in practice, unable to help their team. In that group, there are at least five theoretical first-choice players in the starting eleven. In other words, half the team.

The recent plague of injuries led Xavi to have to use players from the reserve team and even from Juvenil A, as was the case with Marc Guiu. Apart from the madness of his goal against Athletic, having to call up Héctor Fort, Pau Cubarsí, Marc Casadó, Aleix Garrido, Marc Guiu and company showed that the situation was far from ideal when it came to preparing for a match. From experience and internal competition in training.

Players like Cancelo, Gündogan and Ferran Torres had to start without any rest against Athletic, Shakhtar and Real Madrid. All of them have reached four hours of playing time in just seven days' time. And, with so many injuries, Xavi could not do more to dose them. 

The same has happened with Íñigo Martínez, who has carried more load in the last week than in the last six months combined. Others, such as Joao Félix, have been forced to string together starts like there is no tomorrow. In total, the Portuguese has started 10 games out of a possible 10 for Barça. Little or much, the 'spark' suffers from it.

Fortunately for Barça, this Tuesday, when the team starts preparing for the clash against Real Sociedad, a new scenario will take centre stage. Xavi will be able to count on the full squad except for Sergi Roberto -and we'll see if Frenkie de Jong-, who still has a week or so to recover.

Kounde, Pedri, Frenkie de Jong - in his case there is still some doubt - Raphinha and Lewandowski will use the next week to get some training and intensity. All of them will be in the squad to face the 'Txuri-Urdin' team, so the internal competition will multiply again and, in addition, Xavi will see how in the games he can now save two, three or even four aces for the second half.

Between now and Christmas, Barça want to seal their place in the last 16 of the Champions League as group winners and are focused on trying to cut a few points off Real Madrid. It is not an obsession to finish top at the end of the year, but to be a little closer when the competition enters its decisive half.

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