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Barcelona set to make big midfield change against PSG for the second-leg

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Photo by JOSEP LAGO/AFP via Getty Images

Barcelona will have the upper hand when they take on PSG in the second leg of the Champions League quarterfinal on Tuesday.

Aside from the 3-2 win in the first leg, Barcelona will have the home advantage and require only a draw in order to seal a ticket to the semis.

However, as Barça approach this game, coach Xavi Hernandez will have to make several key decisions, as far as the starting eleven is concerned.

Impact of Christensen’s absence

One of the negatives for Barcelona heading into this fixture is the absence of Andreas Christensen.

The Danish international has been ruled out due to suspension after he picked up his third yellow card of the Champions League campaign.

Christensen’s absence greatly minimises Barcelona’s options in the defensive midfield position. It could, in fact, be a major blow for the Catalans, as Christensen has proven to be a major thorn for opposition midfielders this season.

Christensen’s absence to be a major blow for Barcelona (Photo by JOSEP LAGO/AFP via Getty Images)

But with the former Chelsea star ruled out, Xavi must come up with an alternative. Oriol Romeu is always an option for Barcelona, but the Spaniard is unlikely to be trusted in such an important game.

De Jong to return as a number six?

That leaves Xavi with Frenkie de Jong as the only other alternative in the number six position. In fact, Diario SPORT suggests that the Dutchman will return to his role of a defensive midfielder against PSG tomorrow.

That means de Jong will operate in the deeper role in Barcelona’s 4-3-3 formation, with Pedri and Ilkay Gundogan operating as internal midfielders.

De Jong has featured as a defensive midfielder multiple times in the past. But as his performances have shown, the former Ajax starlet is much more expressive when he is operating in a more attacking role

But with Barcelona running out of options, de Jong may have no choice but to bring out his defensive game as Barça look to neutralise the PSG midfield.

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