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Xavi Hernandez Makes Four Changes In Barcelona Lineup Ahead Of Rayo Vallecano Clash

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FC Barcelona head coach Xavi Hernandez will make four changes to the side he last put out when his team takes on Rayo Vallecano at the Montjuic Stadium on Sunday.

The fixture kicking off at 19.00 PM local time could be Xavi‘s last before home fans overall, and not just this season.

In recent days, there have been reports explaining that he will face disciplinary action for negative comments he made about the Catalans’ bleak economic outlook and the way it affects them from being able to compete with bitter rivals Real Madrid.

At his prematch press conference on Saturday, Xavi refuted the reports in where such information has come from, and feels the full confidence of President Joan Laporta plus Sporting Director Deco.

The club legend preferred to focus on the task in hand, which is seeing off Rayo and guaranteeing a runners up spot at Girona‘s expense which will guarantee qualification to the lucrative Spanish Super Cup at the turn of 2025.

«We want to seal second place, it’s the minimum objective and we have everything in front of us. It’s up to us. There are four points difference compared to the third placed team, and there is a great opportunity to certify the position that would give us the chance to play for one more title such as the Super Cup.

«The fans will help us and encourage us, we want to put the game to bed right away, even though we have two bullets,» Xavi said.

Barca made good progress in this mission last time out by beating Almeria 2-0 thanks to a brace from Fermin Lopez.

Understandably, Fermin keeps his place in midfield where he will be joined by Andreas Christensen – replacing captain Sergio Roberto – and Ilkay Gundogan who comes in for Pedri.

They will try and feed a front line of Raphinha, demoting Ferran Torres, Lamine Yamal and striker Robert Lewandowski.

On the back line, there is still no place for Ronald Araujo who will see Inigo Martinez again partner Pau Cubarsi. Hector Fort hits the bench because of Joao Cancelo’s return at left back, but right back Jules Kounde holds onto his berth.

FC Barcelona Starting XI Vs. Rayo Vallecano: Ter Stegen; Cancelo, Cubarsi, Inigo, Kounde; Christensen, Gundogan, Fermin; Raphinha, Lewandowski, Lamine

Rachel Adams

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