Barcelona fans rattled as Xavi names veteran star in UEFA Champions League starting line-up

Barcelona fans have expressed their displeasure with veteran defender Jordi Alba being named in the club’s starting XI for their UEFA Champions League opener.

The Blaugrana will host Viktoria Plzen at the Nou Camp on Wednesday (September 7). Manager Xavi Hernandez has named a much-changed line-up to the one that he deployed in their 3-0 win away to Sevilla in La Liga last weekend.

Alba was one of the major names who missed the contest against the Andalusians, settling for a spot on the bench. The Spaniard has returned to the starting XI at the expense of youth prospect Alejandro Balde.

This hasn’t drawn particularly happy reactions from Barcelona’s fanbase. One fan also took issue with Sergi Roberto returning to the line-up and tweeted:

“Roberto and Alba? God please save us”

Another sent out a tweet that read:

“Alba and Roberto hmmm. Xavi this one na risky play o. I hope you get away with it. Alba? 😰 for goodness sake why? Rather than play Alba why not optimize 3cb’s.”

Here are some more reactions to Alba’s inclusion in Barcelona’s starting XI for their match against Viktoria Plzen:

The Catalans made a total of six changes to their team that defeated Sevilla at the Ramon Sanchez Pijuan. Alba and Roberto replaced Balde and Eric Garcia while Franck Kessie will be making his full debut for the club after taking the place of Sergio Busquets.

Frenkie de Jong also returned to the line-up in place of Pablo Gavi, while Ansu Fati was given the nod ahead of Raphinha. Xavi’s final change saw Andreas Christensen come in for Eric Garcia.

Jordi Alba has started just one game for Barcelona this season

After being the undisputed first-choice left-back for Barcelona for more than a decade, Alba seems to have fallen in the pecking order this season.

The veteran defender started the Catalans’ first La Liga game of the season, a 0-0 draw against Rayo Vallecano. However, he has since lost his place to Balde, who has looked impressive.

Alba played just 18 minutes against Real Sociedad and 26 minutes against Sevilla. He spent the Blaugrana‘s match against Real Valladolid entirely on the bench.

Xavi’s side have also done well without him in the line-up, picking up three wins on the bounce. They beat Sociedad 4-1, thrashed Valladolid 4-0 and then convincingly defeated Sevilla 3-0.

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