Cubarsí vs Iñigo: The latest on Barcelona boss Xavi’s plans for Napoli clash

An insight into the battle for places at the heart of Barcelona’s backline has been forthcoming in the early hours of Monday.

As much, of course, comes just a day out from what many no doubt consider to be Barcelona’s biggest fixture of the season to date.

The Blaugrana will put their European campaign on the line on Tuesday night, when they welcome Italian champions Napoli to Serie A for the 2nd leg of the Champions League Last-16 showdown between the clubs.

The tie currently sits on a knife edge, after a 1-1 stalemate was played out in Naples three weeks ago.

Safe to say, then, that all associated with Barcelona will be keeping a close eye on developments in Catalunya’s capital over the coming 24 hours.

This comes as the latest team news in Xavi’s squad continues to trickle out into the media.

As things stand, Barcelona’s headmaster is expected to have injury doubts Raphinha and Marcos Alonso at his disposal to face Napoli.

Ferran Torres, on the other hand, remains a major doubt, whilst the likes of Pedri, Frenkie de Jong and Gavi remain sidelined.

This means that Andreas Christensen is expected to maintain his spot in the middle of the park, reducing the central defensive options at Xavi’s disposal by one.

So, just who is leading the race to join Ronald Araújo at the heart of the Blaugrana’s backline on Tuesday?

As per a report from Marca, as things stand, it is Pau Cubarsí.

Youngster Cubarsí is yet to be afforded his European debut by Xavi, with the experience boasted by Iñigo Martínez having seen the latter given the nod from the off at the Stadio Diego Armando Maradona.

Fresh off another standout performance against Mallorca on Friday, though, Barca’s headmaster is understood to be leaning heavily towards Cubarsí this time round.

‘Everything indicates that the young man from Girona will make his debut on Tuesday in the top continental competition’, it is assured.

Conor Laird | GSFN

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