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Barcelona to alter formation for Champions League clash with Napoli

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Barcelona manager Xavi Hernandez is reportedly under pressure to secure a positive result against Napoli in the Champions League to safeguard his position.

Some reports suggest that a poor performance in the first leg or elimination from the tournament could lead to his dismissal before the end of the season.

In an attempt to improve their form, Barcelona is expected to adopt a tactical change for their upcoming match. Xavi is likely to deploy a midfield quartet, with central defender Andreas Christensen playing in a holding role.

Frenkie de Jong and Ilkay Gundogan are expected to provide support in midfield, with Pedri playing in a more advanced role on the left.

Despite limited forward options, Lamine Yamal and Robert Lewandowski are set to lead the line for Barcelona. In defense, 17-year-old Pau Cubarsi is expected to make way for Ronald Araujo, who will partner with Inigo Martinez.

Joao Cancelo is likely to continue at left-back, with Jules Kounde hoping to improve his form at right-back.

On the bench, Raphinha, Fermin Lopez, and Vitor Roque are expected to be Xavi’s key options for tactical changes during the game.

Barcelona will aim to strike a balance between caution and attacking ambition, considering their recent defensive struggles, having conceded 22 goals in 12 games in 2024, with only two clean sheets in that period.

Champions League

Xavi fires back at Enrique for claiming PSG would’ve won without red card

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Xavi fires back at Enrique for claiming PSG would've won without red card

“Luis Enrique said that even without the red card PSG would have won anyway and he hopes you will be the coach of Barca for many years, what do you say?” Xavi was asked.

The Barca boss replied in a fiery tone, “I say NO to both.”

Xavi’s disagreement with Enrique’s celebration of PSG’s victory may indicate his dissatisfaction with the current state of affairs at Barcelona, potentially hinting at a departure this summer.

Enrique’s exuberant reaction to PSG’s win, followed by comments boasting about his team’s superiority, contrasts with Xavi’s perspective and may suggest a difference in their visions for the club.

Despite PSG’s convincing win, it’s important to remember that Barcelona had a strong start in the match, leading by two goals at one point.

However, a pivotal moment came when Ronald Araujo’s decision to foul Bradley Barcola shifted the momentum in PSG’s favor, leading to their eventual victory.

PSG’s upcoming semi-final against Dortmund will be an intriguing matchup. During the group stage, Dortmund was unable to defeat PSG, indicating that the upcoming clash could be another challenging encounter for the German team.

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Champions League

‘He’s had 48 hours’ – Arsenal boss shares update on Bukayo Saka after furious penalty demand

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'He's had 48 hours' - Arsenal boss shares update on Bukayo Saka after furious penalty demand

Bukayo Saka expressed frustration at not being awarded a penalty after a clash with Manuel Neuer during Arsenal’s 2-2 draw with Bayern Munich in the Champions League quarter-finals.

He confronted the referee at full-time and even followed him down the tunnel, a departure from Saka’s typically composed demeanor.

When questioned about Saka’s condition before the upcoming match against Aston Villa on Sunday, Mikel Arteta stated, “Yes, he looked fine this morning.”

“He’s had 48 hours to think about it and it’s done.”

Arteta chose not to address the incident after the game, but there was a general consensus that Saka’s contact with Neuer was minimal.

Saka faced criticism for his reaction, but given the high emotions of the game, such reactions were not uncommon.

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Champions League

Barca fans set special plan for ‘ingrate’ Dembele in PSG second leg

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Barca fans set special plan for 'ingrate' Dembele in PSG second leg

Ousmane Dembele’s jubilant celebration after scoring against Barcelona for PSG has stirred up mixed reactions among Barca fans. Dembele, who spent four years at Barcelona before joining PSG, faced criticism from some Barca supporters who felt his celebration was disrespectful.

Reports suggest that some Barca fans are planning to give Dembele a hostile reception similar to the one given to Luis Figo when he moved from Barcelona to Real Madrid in 2000.

Many Barca fans on social media have expressed support for treating Dembele harshly during PSG’s next visit to the Camp Nou, with some labeling him as an ‘ingrate’.

Here are some reactions from fans on X.

Ustaz: “Amma super fan of Dambele but after what he did last night I’m totally disappointed 😢”

Lexy: “I will definitely be there anytime anytime that ingrate of a boy will be disgrace.”

Bryan: “Anything less than the Figo treatment would be a mercy after what he’s done”

Logan: “He deserves any sort of treatment given to him at the 2nd leg Such a disappointing player”

DesmondOris: “Whatever he sees in the second leg he should take it”

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