Xavi will keep his Clasico cards up his sleeve

Xavi will keep his Clasico cards up his sleeve

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Xavi Hernández does not want to give Carlo Ancelotti any kind of advantage in Saturday's Clasico battle against Real Madrid. The Barça coach is weighing up the option of not making the squad list available on Friday and holding it back until Saturday morning. It would be a way of creating uncertainty in the approach of Los Blancos.

FC Barcelona's set-up can change a lot depending on the players they can bring back. Xavi has six absentees through injury for the Champions League match against Shakhtar Donetsk. Some have a chance of making the weekend's squad.

Jules Kounde, Sergi Roberto or even Pedri are the worst off, but Lewandowski, Raphinha or De Jong might be back. They are cards that the coach can keep up his sleeve until the last moment.

Their presence, even if only on the bench, could be a factor that intimidates Real Madrid. Xavi will be desperate until the last minute to find out which players are fit enough to be included in the squad.

The Clasico is a match of great importance and having a few unexpected players for the opponent can be a very important detail.

What will not change will be the routine of the matches. Although the match will be played at an early hour (4.15pm), Xavi will not gather the players the night before. The players will be called to the Ciutat Esportiva in the morning and it will probably be then that the squad will be decided.

The team will travel together on the bus to the magical mountain of Montjuïc in advance to avoid the crowds that can build up in the area. It will be a day when there will be a lot of fans in the surrounding area and Barca don't want to be in a rush.

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