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Barcelona vs Galatasaray predicted XIs: Team news as Xavi reveals the player who has improved the most under him

By Ben Green

Barcelona vs Galatasaray predicted XIs: Team news as Xavi reveals the player who has improved the most under him

Published: 10:28, 10 March 2022

Barcelona play host to Galatasaray in the first leg of their Europa League last-16 tie on Thursday at 8pm (UK time).

Xavi’s men knocked out Napoli in the competition’s reformatted knockout round play-off and he will now be looking to push on and win his first major honour as boss of Barca. Standing in his way is a potentially awkward match-up against an unpredictable Galatasaray, who enter this showdown 12th in their domestic league, but in fine Europa League fiddle, having topped their group unbeaten, which also featured Lazio and Marseille.

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Barcelona team news vs Galatasaray: Gavi suspended

Barca will be without the quartet of Ansu Fati, Sergi Roberto, Samuel Umtiti and Alejandro Balde, who are all nursing respective injury issues, while Gavi is on the sidelines with a suspension. Elsewhere Sergino Dest is likely to come in for Dani Alves, who is ineligible for the Europa League, but Xavi will be buoyed by the appearance of Ronald Araujo who, according to the former midfield maestro, is the player who has improved the most under his tutelage.

“Maybe he is the football is improving more from our arrival over all with the ball – before he had no intention,” Xavi told reporters after Barca‘s 2-1 win over Elche at the weekend..

“We require passes, we demand game changers. Without the ball, he is one of the best in the world, with the ball he had to improve and it’s fundamental for him and for the team.”


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Predicted Barcelona XI vs Galatasaray:

  • Ter Stegen; Dest, Araujo, Pique, Alba; Pedri, Busquets, De Jong; Traore, Aubameyang, Torres. (4-3-3)

Galatasaray team news vs Barcelona: Arda Turan misses reunion

Arda Turan is still out with a groin injury so will not be able to return to the Camp Nou and take on his former club. Sofiane Feghouli and Kaan Arslan are both considered major doubts for this contest, while Bafetimbi Gomis is set to lead the line.

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Predicted Galatasaray XI vs Barcelona:

  • Muslera; Boey, Marcao, Nelsson, Van Aanholt; Pulgar; Morutan, Kutlu, Cicaldau, Akturkoglu; Gomis. 

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