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Know thy enemy: Xavi’s game plan includes strategic, tactical fouls, while Pedri is positive ahead of Bayern Munich tilt

FC Barcelona will need to be on-point to defeat Bayern Munich.

FC Barcelona v Real Betis - La Liga Santander Photo by Alex Caparros/Getty Images

FC Barcelona manager Xavi has his plan set for how to approach his squad’s Champions League match against Bayern Munich.

The strategy — as described by Mundo Deportivo — starts with the squad’s mindset:

  • Xavi wants a positive mentality, a good attitude, a strong focus, and the ability to avoid distractions.
  • A high, intense press, which Xavi believes has caused Bayern Munich issues in the past. One can assume that the absence of Joshua Kimmich and the likely omission of Leon Goretzka from the lineup will play into Xavi’s hands.
  • Building out of the back in an attempt to dominate possession before preparing to strike.
  • Tactical fouls...lots of them to slow Bayern Munich’s counterattack.
  • Taking more risks in the final third.
  • Central midfielders like Frenkie de Jong will be instructed to push further up field to keep pressure on Bayern Munich, while FC Barcelona will become reliant on the physical play of Ronald Araujo and Gerard Pique in the back to thwart Bayern Munich’s breakout attempts.
  • Having Ousmane Dembele as the offensive focal point. The strategy will be for Dembele to make runs in behind to try and use his speed against the Bayern Munich backline. Specifically, Xavi wants Demebele cutting in from the wing as well.
  • The defensive will attempt (like by hook or by crook) to take Robert Lewandowski and Thomas Müller out of the match.

As for FC Barcelona phenom Peri, he offered words of encouragement via Twitter:

“With everything, you can do it!”