FC Barcelona: 4 Players Who Need To Step Up in Andres Iniesta's Absence

Jonathan MaldonadoContributor IIISeptember 21, 2011

FC Barcelona: 4 Players Who Need To Step Up in Andres Iniesta's Absence

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    Andres Iniesta is out for four weeks with a hamstring injury, which leaves a huge void in the midfield for Barcelona.

    Iniesta is one of the best soccer players in the world and very few can control the midfield the way he does. His control, vision and inventiveness are qualities no one can duplicate and the other midfielders on Barcelona have a quite a load to carry without him.

    Several players need to step up in order for Barcelona to maintain its dominance and move forward in La Liga and the Champions League.

4. Thiago Alcantara

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    The 20-year-old youngster is an option to be the direct replacement in Pep Guardiola's formation in the absence of Iniesta.

    Thiago is on the rise and although he doesn't posses the skill set of Iniesta, he fits in well in the midfield. He will be surrounded by the other Barcelona elite and can feed off of them. He will be able to get into the rhythm during the month long absence of Iniesta. 

    The young midfielder has already displayed his willingness to play wherever Pep needs him to and his attitude will definitely help Barcelona stay afloat.

3. Xavi

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    This is more of a leadership transition that Xavi needs to make.

    Xavi and Iniesta feed off each other like no other midfield duo in soccer. With Iniesta out, Xavi will be the new director of the midfield and will need to lead new comers and possible replacements, like Cesc Fabregas and Thiago Alcantara.

    Xavi will continue to play his way but will have to keep a closer eye on the midfield without the other half of the dynamic duo.

2. Pedro and Villa

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    Villa and Pedro need to step up their goal scoring during the absence of Iniesta. Relying on Messi too much will prove to be a problem, especially with Iniesta out.

    Xavi, Fabregas and Thiago are all still there to get the ball to the two forwards who must do everything they can to get the ball in the back of the net. Building confidence through goal-scoring without being fed the ball by Iniesta will only enhance the team once he returns.

1. Cesc Fabregas

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    The most important player in Iniesta's absence has to be Cesc Fabregas. Many doubted he would improve an already perfect squad, but he has produced already.

    Fabregas has appeared in all of Barcelona's Liga games and has scored in all of them as well.

    What Fabregas need to do is maintain his production in a bigger role and all should be fine for La Blaugrana. He already knows how to be the go-to man, he did so as the Arsenal captain.

    As long as he remains consistent, there shouldn't be any worry in Catalonia.