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Xavi has already mapped out his Barcelona starting XI for PSG encounter – report

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Photo by ANDER GILLENEA/AFP via Getty Images

Only five days remain before Barcelona take part in their biggest game of the season. Facing PSG at Parc des Princes in the first leg of the UEFA Champions League quarterfinals, they will look to take home a lead for the second leg.

The Parisians are the team’s biggest hurdle in their bid to reach the final and thus secure some consolation in what has otherwise been a desolate season.

Xavi and Co. thus, are working hard to ensure that they tactically outplay Luis Enrique’s side on the night.

According to SPORT‘s latest update, Xavi has his lineup to face PSG all but ready with only minor decisions to be taken.

Defence

It is no surprise that the Barcelona coach is not going to for an extraordinary setup against PSG, and will stick to the 4-3-3 that has worked well for his side in recent times.

The first name on the sheet is Marc-Andre Ter Stegen who is uncontested and in-form between the sticks.

The German star’s post will be guarded by the defensive combination of Ronald Araujo and Pau Cubarsi, both of whom have been on song in recent times.

The player at right-back, who will directly go head-to-head against Kylian Mbappe, will be Jules Kounde who has begun embracing his role on the flank. Joao Cancelo, meanwhile, is guaranteed his spot at left-back.

Raphinha, Yamal likely to start, but what about De Jong? (Photo by PAU BARRENA/AFP via Getty Images)

Midfield

Andreas Christensen missed Barcelona’s last two matches but will be fit to start as the pivot at Parc des Princes. He will be joined by Ilkay Gundogan in midfield.

The third name in midfield is precisely the dilemma Xavi is pondering over. Frenkie de Jong’s return to fitness leaves the coach with a three-way battle between the Dutchman, Sergi Roberto and Fermin Lopez and it remains to be seen which route Xavi opts.

Attack

Robert Lewandowski will start as the centre-forward on the night looking to keep up his rich run of form across all competitions.

Flanking him on the right will be La Masia prodigy Lamine Yamal who has quickly evolved into Barcelona’s most impactful player in the final third.

The third starting spot in attack is reserved for Raphinha on the left wing, ahead of Ferran Torres and Joao Felix, as per the report.

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