My line–up /
Barça v Betis
A first home league game against a strong team, despite so far the 'verdiblancos' have shown that they are more big names than a determined and clear idea. We'll have to be prepared if we don't want to drop points again. However, we've got many significant absences, especially upfront, and I still firmly believe that we would be able to beat Betis at the Camp Nou even with a bit of rotation.
At the back, It would be great to see Junior against his old club, but starting both Samu and Firpo on the left side of our defence would be quite risky. They'd leave too many gaps for poor understanding and positioning. None of the two showed superb defensive qualities in preseason. In the middle line, Busquets starting is a must if we want to recover control and have an intelligent and reliable passer – something we lacked at San Mamés. Sergio alongside De Jong, who'd be an interior in a more advanced position, is almost compulsory. Who will complete the trio is an unknown, yet I'd pick Arthur over Rakitić, Vidal and Sergi. First official minutes for the Brazilian. It could be a too lineal and plane midfield, but we must try Frenkie, Busi and Arthur together.
The front 3 must be Carles Pérez, Griezmann and Rafinha – unless Valverde shocks us all with left winger Ansu. It may not be as glamorous as having the likes of Leo, Luis and Dembélé, but the mentioned three are very mobile and smart attackers that could link up well between each other and with that midfield. I'd personally use Carles as a RW, given that Pedraza is an offensive left-back and we need someone incisive like the 21-year-old to push him back. Rafa would have a free role in the middle, Griezmann would be the reference – leaning to the left a bit – and Alba would be responsible for most of the offensive output on the left flank. If we have a 2+ goal lead, I'd give second-half minutes to Junior, Sergi Roberto and...Ansu Fati. That would be insane for the 16-year-old LW. We must not rush him, but he's in the squad for a reason. He's a gem.
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