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Lewandowski, Raphinha, and Christensen set for full debuts as Barcelona name matchday XI to face Rayo Vallecano

Barça will look to start the new 2022-23 La Liga season with a bang at home against Vallecano as Xavi calls upon a cadre of key summer additions to lay a market down on match day one.


Barcelona is set to sprint out of the gate tonight as the 2022-23 La Liga season has gotten underway as of Friday night, with Barça fans filled with expectation after the club confirmed Xavi’s first matchday XI of the new season.

In what is expected to be a potentially devastating attacking trio under the former son of La Masia, Xavi has named summer signings Robert Lewandowski and Raphinha as part of the team set to clash with Rayo Vallecano later this evening.

The dynamic attacking duo arrived at the Camp Nou this summer amid a continued mass rebuild under Xavi that has shown clear intentions of hopefully tracking down and usurping Real Madrid at the top of the Spanish football pyramid, with their eligibility no longer in question after the club was able to register four new players after activating the fourth financial lever.

Ousmane Dembélé has received Xavi’s blessing tonight, as well as former Chelsea center-back Andreas Christensen.

The selected XI does not include Franck Kessié, though he has been registered as well, while Jules Koundé misses out completely on account of the club not yet being able to add him to their list of registered players.

Sensational teenage duo Pedri and Gavi look set to pick up where they left off last season after both have also been included at the expense of Frenkie de Jong due to the ongoing transfer saga involving the 25-year-old Dutch international, while long-term servent Sergio Busquets provides the veteran presence in the center of the park.

Perhaps most impressive is the signs pointing to the winds of change on the east coast of Spain, with tonight’s matchday XI being a far cry from the side that opened the 2021-22 season under Ronaldo Koeman, with just four players from that night included this evening.

With more players still to be registered and other changes both in and out of the door at the club, the full transformation of Barcelona under Xavi is nearly complete.


Andrew Thompson

US-based Football writer. German football guru with a wealth of experience in youth development and analysis. Data aficionado. Happily championing the notion that Americans have a knowledgeable voice in the beautiful game.



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