Last season they were Barça's regular centre-backs. Araujo and Christensen took over the starting line-up for Xavi's team, while Koundé played most of the time at right-back, with the exception, above all, of the derbies against Real Madrid.
With the French defender injured (he is out for a month and a half), the Blaugrana coach will have to make use of the pairing with which he won his first league title on the bench. The truth is that the numbers with both of them on the pitch were very good last season, although somewhat worse this season, where they have only played 106 minutes in three games, Getafe (46), Celta (14) and Granada (46). Two draws away from home and a comeback at Montjuïc after going down 0-2 to Vigo.
The numbers in the 22-23 season are spectacular and, beyond the statistics, the two men had a perfect understanding, nothing that they can't do again now in the circumstances in which the team finds itself. They played a total of 18 games together, with a balance of thirteen wins, two draws and three defeats, against Bayern in the Champions League (2-0), Manchester United in the Europa League (2-1) and Almería in La Liga (1-0). However, one of the victories should be considered a draw because it came in the semi-finals of the Copa del Rey against Betis. The match ended 2-2 and the Blaugrana went through on penalties.
Beyond numbers and statistics, Xavi has full confidence in a centre-back duo that complement each other very well, each with a different profile. The Uruguayan, more forceful and physical, while the Dane usually has the responsibility of initiating play from the back. Ronald, all speed; Andreas, all positioning. Without Jules Koundé, everything points to the fact that the onus will be on them to provide the back line.
Iñigo Martínez, in reserve
The Basque centre-back is one of the players who is not leaving Barcelona to join the Spanish national team, so Xavi may take this fact into account when it comes to allocating minutes after the international break. Iñigo Martínez has only played in three games, so he lacks competitive rhythm. In fact, Barça will face his former team, Athletic, in the first match after the national team commitments.
It could be a good day for the player from Ondarroa to play his second game as a starter. The first one was in Mallorca and the player himself was not satisfied with his performance. But Xavi needs all of them to be in good shape in a very demanding season that is also getting very complicated due to injuries.