As the AFCON and South American World Cup qualifiers went on, European players were given a much-needed two-week rest.
Especially given the February schedule, when most top clubs will play six games across 21 days.
This trek, for Barcelona, starts with Atletico Madrid on 6th February. This would be the Blaugranes‘ first match at home in 50 days, and with no audience restrictions, a jam-packed Camp Nou will be expecting nothing less than a win.

And it seems Xavi is more than ready for it, as, according to AS, he has already decided his attacking trident. He will deploy a fresh attack consisting of all January attacking signings, with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang as the striker, Ferran Torres on the left, and Adama Traore on the right.

Ansu Fati is out injured for another two months, at least, while Memphis Depay is recovering from his knock. Martin Braithwaite is far from match-sharp, and Ez Abde and Ferran Jutgla have been rather inconsistent to be awarded starts in such a huge game.

Ousmane Dembele is the last option remaining, but the decision to play him or keep him in the stands will probably come down to the very last day. Joan Laporta has handed the keys to Xavi, saying it’s his call at the end of the day.

Atletico’s defence has been struggling this season, and they have conceded more goals than Barcelona at this point in the season. The last time they finished the season with more goals conceded than the Catalans was in 2014/15 (21 vs 29).