How Barcelona will line up in 2022/23
Barcelona have been one of the main players in football transfer news this summer, with the Camp Nou side enjoying an incredible window in which they have defied critics to make a string of impressive signings.
Andreas Christensen and Franck Kessie arrived at the club on free transfers before upwards of €150 million was splashed out on Raphinha, Robert Lewandowski and Jules Kounde in quick succession.
There may be more to come, too. Barcelona are still interested in signing Marcos Alonso from Chelsea and Bernardo Silva from Manchester City.
Along with doubts still lingering over the club’s ability to sign players due to La Liga’s Financial Fair Play restrictions, there are questions over just how they might line up this season.
Barca, though, have surely done their calculations and must expect to be able to field their five new signings plus Ousmane Dembele and Sergi Roberto, who signed new contracts in the summer, for the weekend’s La Liga opener against Rayo Vallecano on Saturday.
What is Barcelona's strongest XI?
As it stands, then, this is how they are likely to line up when at full strength, with a 4-3-3 Xavi’s preferred formation in the build up to the 2022/23 campaign.
Lewandowski, of course, will lead the line. Ousmane Dembele and Raphinha look good bets to flank him, with both in impressive form during the pre-season period, although Ansu Fati will surely come into the conversation when up to full speed after missing so much of last season.
As it stands, the midfield is likely to be anchored by Sergio Busquets, but he faces stern competition from Kessie, who will stake a major claim for the spot when he gets up to full fitness.
Flanking him will be Gavi and Pedri, although Bernardo Silva will necessarily come into the rotation should he arrive from City. Meanwhile, there is no room for Frenkie de Jong, who has also been used as a centre-back in pre-season.
Jules Kounde and Christensen are liable to start at centre-back this season, with Gerard Pique, Ronald Araujo and Eric Garcia acting as back-up options, while Sergi Roberto, Araujo and Sergino Dest are set to battle over the right-back berth. Veteran Jordi Alba will start on the left.