Barcelona have hit reset after an intense start to the year and the international break is allowing Xavi to work calmly with his team, ahead of the crucial months ahead. His side is taking shape.
In goal there are no doubts, Ter Stegen is No 1 and he has hit a turning point after his vital save against Mallorca in the first game of the year. Neto is not even being used in the Copa del Rey.
In defence, Dani Alves has taken the right back spot, with Pique and Ronald Araujo in the middle, with Jordi Alba the certain left back, unless Tagliafico or Grimaldo arrives.
Sergio Busquets is the pivot, with Pedri and Frenkie de Jong ahead of him. Nico is the alternative, while Gavi looks likely to have a position higher up the pitch.
At centre forward, it’s Ferran Torres, with Luuk de Jong or Memphis his back up, while Dembele is frozen out and Adama Traore is in on the right. Gavi can play as a false left winger.
Eric Garcia should be back from injury soon but Ansu Fati, Sergi Roberto and Samuel Umtiti are out long term.
Xavi’s strongest team for 2022 is: Ter Stegen; Alves, Pique, Araujo, Alba; Busquets, De Jong, Pedri; Adama, Ferran Torres, Gavi.
A team that can fight for the top four and against Napoli to progress in the Europa League.