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How can you replace Xavi?

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31.03.2011 13:26

How can you replace Xavi?

Sandra Sarmiento

Xavi has missed 9 games so far this season, seven of which have ended in victories, and Keita has substituted him on eight of those occasions.

How can you replace Xavi?

Xavi is the epitome of Barça’s style of play – the pace, the guile and the magic and a hardworking energy-filled master of the footballer’s art who because of suspension, Guardiola will have to find a replacement for on Saturday against Villarreal.

How do you go about replacing such a unique talent? Xavi is a one off, but the team know how to play without him and how to win too, having managed seven victories from the nine games they’ve had to play without him so far this season.

2011-01-12_PARTIDO_47.JPGFour La Liga games

Xavi has missed four La Liga games –the draw with Mallorca at the Nou Camp and the away wins over Zaragoza, Deportivo and Mallorca and Guardiola has always called on Keita or Iniesta to cover for him.

Three Cup wins

In the Spanish Cup, Keita also took Xavi’s place when he missed both the games against Ceuta and in the second leg against Almeria. Against Ceuta, Keita played alongside Thiago, whilst in the other game it was Busquets who sat alongside him, but the result was the same –three wins from three games.

Super Cup and Champions

2011-02-02_PARTIDO_02.JPGXavi also missed out on the first leg of the Spanish Super Cup against Seville and the home tie against Rubin in the Champions League group stage. Like the rest of his World Cup winning teammates, Xavi was still away on holiday for the first game, when Keita, Jonathan dos Santos and Oriol Romeu covered the middle in Barça’s 3-1 defeat.

In the final group stage game, it was Mascherano who stepped up to take Xavi’s place alongside Busquets and Jonathan dos Santos. The team were already through to the knock out stages and won the game 2-0.

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