Barcelona predicted lineup vs PSG – Champions League

Xavi Hernandez takes charge of his first Champions League quarter-final with Barcelona travelling to French capital for the first leg against Paris Saint-Germain.

Such occasions were minor for Xavi, the player, but the Spaniard already entered unchartered terrirtory as a manager by overseeing Barca’s progression into the knockout stages.

The Catalans have struggled for relevancy in this competition since their 2019 Anfield collapse, but a deep run is plausible in 2024 with Barca finding themselves on the ‘right’ side of the draw.

Here’s the lineup Xavi could pick for Wednesday’s first leg in Paris.

FC Barcelona v SSC Napoli: Round of 16 Second Leg - UEFA Champions League 2023/24FC Barcelona v SSC Napoli: Round of 16 Second Leg - UEFA Champions League 2023/24

Barcelona beat Napoli in the round of 16 / Alex Caparros/GettyImages

GK: Marc-Andre ter Stegen – There’s no denying that Ter Stegen’s return has served as a major boost, with Barca’s defensive record improving considerably in recent weeks. He’s one of two players from the club’s previous Champions League triumph in 2015 that remains on their books.

RB: Jules Kounde – Kounde is determined to make Didier Deschamps’ Euro 2024 squad, with the versatile defender enjoying an impressive 2024.

CB: Ronald Araujo – Araujo has previously matched up one-v-one against Vinicius Junior, but there’s unlikely to be a reshuffle in Barca’s defence to ensure the dominant Uruguayan sees plenty of Kylian Mbappe. The pair are likely to duel in the left inside channel.

CB: Pau Cubarsi – The teenager starred in the second leg against Napoli and has proven to be a revelatory inclusion to Barca’s defence. A tough assignment awaits Cubarsi in Paris, however.

LB: Joao Cancelo – Xavi’s utility man has found a home at left-back with Alejandro Balde out for the season.

DM: Andreas Christensen – The Dane missed Barca’s 1-0 win over Las Palmas ten days ago, but he’s recovered in time for Wednesday’s game and is likely to start at the base of midfield should Frenkie de Jong, who’s travelled with the squad, miss out.

CM: Ilkay Gundogan – Barca’s primary creative presence is a midfield shoo-in.

CM: Fermin Lopez – Pedri could be in contention after a lengthy spell out, but Fermin deserves a shot on the big occasions having impressed in the round of 16.

RW: Lamine Yamal – Barca’s sensation is beating out Raphinha for the starting berth down the right flank having carried Xavi’s side through a few bleak periods this term. Let’s see what Yamal can do on the grandest stage.

ST: Robert Lewandowski – The Pole was in red-hot form before the break, and this little period Barca had off might not have suited their #9. PSG will aim to crowd Lewandowski out on Wednesday and cut off his supply.

LW: Joao Felix – Xavi has a few options available, including Raphinha and Ferran Torres, but he’ll likely stick with Felix down the left. The luxury forward is capable of producing a moment of magic in the final third.


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