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Xavi expected to make one big change to the Barcelona lineup for Real Madrid clash

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Photo by JOSEP LAGO/AFP via Getty Images

On Sunday night, the Santiago Bernabeu will provide the setting for a feisty encounter between FC Barcelona and Real Madrid with the La Liga title race at stake.

A win for Barcelona would see them cut down the gap to Real Madrid to five points with six games to be played, leaving the title race wide open. A defeat, on the other hand, would all but confirm Los Blancos as winners.

Barcelona go into Sunday’s game on the back of a disappointing loss to PSG in the UEFA Champions League but Xavi must find a way to rally his troops for the Clasico.

One change likely

Leading up to the match, Mundo Deportivo reports that Barcelona manager Xavi will make one key change to the starting lineup that took the field against PSG earlier this week.

As per the report, Andreas Christensen is set to return to the lineup against Real Madrid tomorrow night at the Santiago Bernabeu.

The Danish international missed the second-leg UCL quarterfinal tie against PSG on Tuesday due to suspension and will be reinstated to the team against Carlo Ancelotti’s team.

However, it will come at the expense of one of Pedri or Frenkie de Jong, the report states.

One of Pedri or De Jong will be benched. (Photo by ANDER GILLENEA/AFP via Getty Images)

Both Pedri and De Jong are key players for Xavi and Barcelona but have returned from injuries only recently. The former could be more likely to be sacrificed given his tryst with injuries.

No other changes

Apart from that, Xavi is unlikely to make any other changes to the team that started against PSG earlier this week.

As such, Marc-Andre ter Stegen will continue in goal while Jules Kounde and Joao Cancelo will slot in as the full-backs. Ronald Araujo and Pau Cubarsi will pair up in central defence, with the latter set for his El Clasico debut.

Meanwhile, the frontline will remain unchanged with Lamine Yamal, Robert Lewandowski, and Raphinha expected to start.

Christensen would come in as the pivot with one of Pedri or De Jong dropping out while Ilkay Gundogan retains his place in the team.

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