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Barcelona youngster in line to start against Valencia as captain rests

Barcelona’s hopes for a title this season came crashing down with back-to-back defeats to PSG and Real Madrid last week.

Returning home for the first time after the successive blows, the Catalans take on Valencia later today at Estadi Olimpic de Lluis Companys hoping to get back to winning ways.

With the team virtually out of contention for all titles, Xavi is expected to make some tweaks to his starting lineup, especially in midfield where he will be without Frenkie de Jong.

La Masia star to start

While the Dutchman will be unavailable for tonight’s game, Pedri is also not expected to start as the manager continues to take a cautious approach with his fitness.

As revealed in a recent update by AS, Xavi is likely to call on Fermin Lopez to take a starting spot in midfield against Los Che, operating as an interior alongside Ilkay Gundogan.

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Jewel. (Photo by FRANCK FIFE/AFP via Getty Images)

The duo will line up in front of Andreas Christensen who will continue as the team’s first-choice pivot for the rest of the campaign.

Sergi Roberto was the other contender to take the third place in midfield for the game, but the management prefer Lopez for his presence in the final third and his ability to threaten with runs into the box.

Minutes off the bench

Pedri is not expected to start tonight as he did not complete any training with the group over the past week. After all, his fitness has been under question throughout this campaign and the club do not wish to be hasty with his return.

Nevertheless, the Canary Islander is traveling with the team and could come on for a cameo in the second half based on his sensations.

Valencia arrive at Montjuic without five key stars through injury, but it is imperative that Barcelona do not let their guard down. After all, Ruben Baraja’s side are gunning for a spot in Europe and require a win to catapult themselves back into the top seven.

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