Not long after that hard fought win away at the Anoeta, we’re back in action 2 days later with another away game. This time in the UEFA champions. Live from Hamburg at 6:45pm local time, its the return fixture of Shaktar VS Barcelona. We’re slowly but surely getting back to a full squad which means we may see a few changes in the lineup, but we’ll get onto that in a little bit. It’s going to be a short preview today, seeing as we only last faced them a couple weeks back. So lets jump straight into it.
Lessons from last time:
Not only can we take lessons from our last meeting with Shaktar. But most recently, with our game against Real Sociedad. It wasn’t a good performance, but you’ve got to be fair to the team and say we showed good character to get the all important 3 points in the final minutes. What we lacked in that game was control. But we took our chances. That is something we need to do tonight against Shaktar. In our last game against them, i feel like we took them lightly. It was a good performance overall, but we switched off for 2 seconds and they were able to get a goal back. We made it more difficult than needed to be and that’s something we have to act on tonight. We know they’re a solid team, with talented players. So we’re going to have to be at our best to get a result. Taking our chances is also a key thing. That’s been the story of our season so far where we’ve actually created a fair amount of hf chances in every game so far this season, but we just haven’t been putting them away. Once we do that, i think games will be a lot more simpler for us, but we have to start putting that right. Tonight will be a decent test for that.
When it comes to the lineup, i think we will see a few changes from Sunday’s game. We’ve got a lot of games in quick succession before our next international beak. And with a lot of our squad coming back now, its important we use it properly. Rest and rotate when needed. Gavi is back from suspension which is great news. And also Pedri is slowly making his return to full match sharpness. I wouldn’t expect him to start and I wouldn’t want him to, but we should see him in the second half. Fermin Lopez had an incredible performance in the home game VS Shaktar. And although he was a little quiet on the weekend, i would still start him tonight. He’s a goal threat and always make such intelligent runs into the box. We need more of that. Araujo could be rested and I also think that Joao Felix will be rested too. Possibly with Raphinha coming in to replace him. Or even our young star Lamine Yamal. It’s going to be interesting to see how Xavi lines up/ will we stick with the 3 centre back system or go back to a more traditional 4 back. Lets wait and see.
My starting 11:
Canceló- Christensen- Kounde- Balde
Fermin- Gundogan- Gavi
Raphinha- Lewandowski- Ferran