Barca face Shakhtar Donetsk with an eye on the Clasico

Barca face Shakhtar Donetsk with an eye on the Clasico

| Sport

FC Barcelona are playing their third Champions League group game with the aim of getting nine points in the bag on the way to the last 16. However, Xavi Hernandez will be very cautious when it comes to beating Shakhtar Donetsk, given the proximity of the derby against Real Madrid on Saturday.

For starters, the Barça coach has not forced the recovery of any of the six injured players. De Jong, Pedri, Sergi Roberto, Koundé, Lewandowski and Raphinha have all been left out of the squad. Xavi hopes to have some of them back for the Clasico to, at the very least, make the squad. In addition, there is the suspension of Gavi, who was sent off in Porto.

On this occasion, the coach has added two new players from Barça Atètic. Defender Pau Cubarsí and midfielders Aleix Garrido and Casadó are in the list and join Astralaga, third goalkeeper, full-back Héctor Fort and striker Marc Guiu. Barça have been able to register them on the UEFA B list, despite the fact that they were not on the list provided at the start of the season, as they meet the requirement of having been at the club for two consecutive seasons since they turned 15.

The line-up, therefore, will be very much influenced by the circumstances. Xavi is considering, in addition to the injured players, resting two of the theoretical starters against Real Madrid, Araujo and Balde. Barça are taking a cautious approach with the Uruguayan as he could be the weapon to use against Vinicius and he did not start against Athletic, while the full-back ended up going off at the weekend.

If so, the Blaugrana coach would repeat the centre of defence with Christensen and Iñigo Martínez that he used against the Basques, while Marcos Alonso would come in at left-back.

In midfield, Oriol Romeu and Ilkay Gündogan will be accompanied by Fermín Lopez due to Gavi's suspension and, up front, Lamine Yamal, Ferran Torres and Joao Félix will be chosen.

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