Barcelona fans are fretting over Jordi Alba starting for the side's clash with Sevilla tonight (February 5). The Blaugrana can move eight points clear if they beat Jorge Sampaoli's men.
It has been an impressive campaign in the league for Xavi's side, who are racing towards their 27th league title at the expense of holders Real Madrid. The next hurdle on their way is the visit of Sevilla at the Nou Camp.
Xavi selected the side for the encounter, which included Marc-Andre ter Stegen starting in goal, with Jules Kounde, Ronald Araujo, Andreas Christensen and Alba in defense. Meanwhile, Gavi, Sergio Busquets and Frenkie de Jong have been chosen in midfield. Pedri, Raphinha and Robert Lewandowski are in attack.
However, Xavi's decision to name Alba in the starting lineup has fans fearing a potential setback against Sevilla. The veteran Spanish left-back has been chosen ahead of the impressive Alejandro Balde and summer signing Marcos Alonso.
He has featured 18 times across competitions, providing five assists. However, he hasn't been a regular for the Blaugrana this season. Reports claim that the Barcelona hierarchy are considering offloading the defender in the summer to balance their books.
Alba will be eager to impress to have president Joan Laporta and director Mateu Alemany reconsider their stance. Fans are praying he puts in a stellar performance against Sevilla.
Here's how Twitter reacted to Xavi's selection of the veteran Spaniard:
The La Liga title race is in Barcelona's hands after Real Madrid collapse
Real Madrid suffered a 1-0 defeat to Mallorca earlier today to place the La Liga title race firmly in Barcelona's hands. Nacho Fernandez's 13th-minute own goal was enough for Los Blancos to suffer their third loss of the season.
They now trail the Blaugrana by five points heading into tonight's game at the Nou Camp. If Xavi's men beat Sevilla, they will go eight points clear. To make matters worse for Carlo Ancelotti's side, no team has won the league title from their current position in two decades.
Barcelona are in fine form, having not been beaten in the league since their 3-1 loss to Real Madrid in the El Clasico earlier in the season. They have won four league games on the bounce, including an impressive 1-0 win over Atletico Madrid. The La Liga title may have a new home come the end of the season, with Barca in pole positon.