The magnificent seven: Barcelona's spine clear after eight matches

The magnificent seven: Barcelona's spine clear after eight matches

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Xavi has depth to choose from but certain players carry more importance

Xavi Hernandez has reiterated since last season the idea of having "each position in the team doubled." The club worked on that over the summer and a good transfer window left Barcelona with a strong squad with competition for places. However, there are still a series of players who seem untouchable.

There are no doubts in goal. Marc-Andre ter Stegen has had a great start to the season, conceding just three goals in eight games in all competitions -- just one in six LaLiga matches. He's back in his best form and hasn't missed a minute, playing all 720 so far.

In defender, there are two names that stand above the rest so far: Ronald Araujo (601 minutes) and Jules Kounde (450). The Uruguayan has missed one game and is irreplaceable for Xavi, like last season. As for Kounde, a signing requested by Xavi, he has slotted straight into the team. Since being able to debut in the third game of the season, he has only been on the bench once.

Eric Garcia has also played 404 minutes. He has taken a step forward this season but did not start against Bayern Munich. The fourth most-used defender is Alejandro Balde (386 minutes), who has started the last five league games. The left-back slot is the most competitive in the team at the moment, with Jordi Alba (217 minutes) and the recently signed Marcos Alonso (102 minutes) competing with Balde.

Pedri is the team's motor. He has played 604 minutes and has not missed a game. Gavi (473 minutes) and Frenkie de Jong (469 minutes) have also featured in every game, although not always starting. As for Sergio Busquets, he has missed a game through suspension and was rested in another two. He has played 426 minutes.

There are no doubts who is the leader in attack: Robert Lewandowski. With 629 minutes, he's the most-used outfield player by Xavi. He has scored 11 goals and set up two more without missing a game. Ousmane Dembele (554 minutes) and Raphinha (400 minutes) are his most common partners. Ansu Fati, Ferran Torres and Memphis Depay are jostling for minutes behind them.

Based on minutes, Ter Stegen, Araujo, Kounde, Pedri, Gavi, Dembele and Lewandowski are the spine of Xavi's side, the magnificent seven.

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