In his video for The Coach’s Voice, Xavi explained that he uses a 3-4-3 (or 3-2-2-3) formation at Al Sadd because it allows the team to have a numerical advantage on the opposite side of the pitch.
The set-up is far from a standard one, and it might take him some time to instil it at Barcelona if/when he is appointed.
However, once everyone is fit, it does look like the Catalans will have all the profiles needed to use this formation.
Barca XI: Ter Stegen – Garcia, Pique, Araujo – F.de Jong, Busquets – Riqui Puig, Pedri – Dembele, Memphis, Ansu Fati.
Xavi wants all of his players to be good on the ball, the centre-backs included, and all of Eric Garcia, Gerard Pique and Ronald Araujo seem to be up to the task.
The two defensive midfielders are responsible for carrying the ball forward, and there aren’t too many players better at it than Frenkie de Jong.
As for Sergio Busquets, he is not as physical, but he can move the ball around through his passing.
The attacking midfielders are supposed to get the ball between the lines and make the final pass, either to the wingers or the striker.
Both Pedri and Riqui Puig have the potential to flourish in these spots.
As for the attacking trio, nothing extravagant here, the only exception being that the two wingers would have to stay close to the flanks and will likely have less freedom of movement.
Barca XI: Ter Stegen – Mingueza, Araujo, Lenglet – F. de Jong, Nico – Pedri, Gavi – Memphis, Aguero, Ansu Fati.
The centre-backs at times have to cover the flanks when defending, and Oscar Mingueza could be a better fit than Garcia.
The same goes for Clement Lenglet who is left-footed and has played at left-back in the past.
In midfield, the pivots have to run the most in this formation, and youngster Nico Gonzalez might be given the nod ahead of veteran Busquets.
Another change would be Gavi ahead of Riqui Puig, as the 17-year-old has got more action this season and should be more match-fit.
Finally, if Xavi wants a pure striker, Sergio Aguero should be the go-to option, with Memphis shifted to the flank.
Which of the two options would you prefer? Tell us in the comments below!