“Genuinely annoying me with this move now” – Barcelona fans fume as Xavi leaves out star from starting XI against Inter Milan
Barcelona fans are fuming with Xavi Hernandez for omitting left-back Alex Balde from the Blaugrana’s starting XI against Inter Milan on October 4.
Xavi’s men head to the San Siro to face Inter and are looking to get back to winning ways in the Champions League.
The Catalan giants lost 2-0 to Bayern Munich last time out.
They know they will likely compete with Simone Inzaghi’s side and the Bavarians for a spot in the knockout rounds.
Xavi has opted to go with a familiar 4-3-3 formation against the Serie A side, with Marc-Andre ter Stegen in goal.
Sergi Roberto, Andreas Christensen, Eric Garcia, and Marcos Alonso line up in defense.
It is Xavi’s decision to choose Alonso over Balde which has drawn the ire of Barcelona fans.
The young Spanish left-back has had an impressive start to the season, making six appearances in La Liga and contributing three assists.
However, Balde is yet to be handed a start in the Champions League and many are calling for the youngster to be given the opportunity to impress in European competition.
Meanwhile, Gavi, Pedri and Sergio Busquets are in midfield and they will be looking to control the likes of Inter’s Nico Barella and Hakan Çalhanoğlu.
The prolific Robert Lewandowski starts up top having managed a hat-trick in Barca’s 5-1 win over Viktoria Plzen in the Champions League on matchday 1.
He is joined in attack by Raphinha and Ousmane Dembele, who will be looking to cause havoc down the wings against Inter’s Matteo Darmian and Federico Dimarco.
Xavi’s starting XI has drawn criticism from Barca fans who would have preferred to see Balde start instead of Alonso.
Here are some reactions from Blaugrana supporters on Twitter who have been venting over the young Spaniard’s omission:
A must-win game for Barcelona
Barcelona need to keep the heat on Bayern, who have just thrashed Plzen 5-0 at the Allianz Arena.
Xavi needs to get back to winning ways against their likely challengers for second spot in group C.
Both Barca and Inter currently sit on three points having both lost to Bayern.
However, Xavi’s side can take comfort in the way in which they performed against the Bavarians.
The Blaugrana had more shots and were for much of the game the better side and it bodes well heading into a clash with Inter.
A win for Barcelona is vital as they will be able to cause a setback for Inzaghi’s men, who are also eyeing a spot into the knockout rounds.