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Revealed: The two changes Xavi has planned for Barcelona’s meeting with Athletic Bilbao

Revealed: The two changes Xavi has planned for Barcelona’s meeting with Athletic Bilbao

 

An insight into the planned personnel changes on the part of Barcelona boss Xavi for the club’s upcoming meeting with Athletic Bilbao has been provided on Friday.

Bilbao test

The Blaugrana are, of course, set to sit out the upcoming round of La Liga action, on the back of their exploits at the Spanish Super Cup.

After travelling to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, only to be unceremoniously dumped out of the competition at the semi-final stage by Clasico rivals Real Madrid, Xavi and co. have been afforded a week to rest up by the Spanish powers that be.

In turn, Barca will not return to the pitch until next Thursday.

Another cup outing lies in store, when the Catalan giants make the trip to San Mames, for a daunting Copa del Rey Last-16 showdown with Athletic Bilbao.

Revealed: The two changes Xavi has planned for Barcelona’s meeting with Athletic Bilbao

Real Madrid’s players celebrate scoring during the Spanish Super Cup semi-final football match between Barcelona and Real Madrid at the King Fahad International stadium in the Saudi capital Riyadh on January 12, 2022. (Photo by FAYEZ NURELDINE / AFP) (Photo by FAYEZ NURELDINE/AFP via Getty Images)

De Jong out/Pedri in

As alluded to above, though, despite his side not being set to get their campaign back underway for a full six days, Xavi has already come to the decision to shake up his starting XI.

As per a report from Javi Miguel of Diario AS, the Blaugrana boss is intent on dropping Frenkie de Jong and Ousmane Dembele, both of whom started against Real, to the bench.

In their places, meanwhile, will come Pedri and Ansu Fati, whose introductions off the bench in Riyadh sparked Barca into life, and so nearly culminated in the Catalans forcing a penalty shootout.

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This article was edited by Ben Browning.