Xavi Faces A Big Problem Of How To Stop Vinicius Against Real Madrid After Araujo And Koundes Injury

FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - LaLiga - FC Barcelona v Real Betis - Camp Nou, Barcelona, Spain - December 4, 2021 FC Barcelona coach Xavi REUTERS/Nacho Doce

Without Araujo and Koundé, Bellerín and Sergi Roberto have a different profile for the full-back position and they are still awaiting their injuries.

Christensen can be an emergency resource, switching to Marcos Alonso would be an experimental solution and Eric Garcia did not pass the test in the 2’s lane at Villarreal.

How to stop Vinicius Junior in the upcoming Clásico on October 16 is the most complex problem facing FC Barcelona coach Xavi Hernandez during the demanding stretch of competition that lies ahead for the azulgrana team in the coming weeks.

The depth of the squad this season provides plausible solutions to face most challenges, but specifically the threat posed by the speed and unbalanced nature of Real Madrid’s left winger will force Xavi to pull a rabbit out of his hat because the consecutive departures that have been confirmed in the last few days have completely disrupted his initial plan.

By precedent, forcefulness and speed, Ronald Araujo, moved to the right, had already proved to be a very effective antidote to minimize the damage being caused in most defenses by a player like Vinicius in the last two Clasicos, the 0-4 win at the Bernabeu last Liga, and the 1-0 win in Las Vegas in July.

But Uruguay’s Araujo broke down and won’t be around for the Bernabéu game or any Barça game for quite a few weeks.

The other ideal defender to close the door on Madrid’s Brazilian opener was Frenchman Jules Koundé, but he was also injured playing for his national team and, despite his hopes of returning as soon as possible, it makes sense to think of other solutions.

Héctor Bellerín, signed this summer, is the pure right-back in the squad, although his profile is less defensive than that of his teammates.

As if that were not enough, during Tuesday’s training session, the former Arsenal and Betis player left the session with discomfort in the soleus of his left leg and will undergo an MRI scan on Wednesday to rule out a more serious problem.

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