FC Barcelona

Three Changes Expected: 4-3-3 Barcelona Predicted Lineup vs FC Porto| UCL

Barcelona will eye back-to-back wins in their Champions League group-stage campaign on Wednesday evening when they take on FC Porto at the Estadio do Dragao.

The Catalan giants have enjoyed an excellent start to the 2023/24 season and are unbeaten across all competitions. They are second in La Liga, having won six and drawn two from their opening eight games. Xavi Hernandez’s men finished an unbeaten September with a gritty 1-0 victory over Sevilla last Friday.

Having smashed Royal Antwerp 5-0 at home on matchday 1 of the Champions League, the Spanish champions will now look to establish their dominance against Porto.

Barcelona Team News

Raphinha picked up a hamstring injury against Sevilla at the weekend, and along with Pedri and Frenkie de Jong, will not be a part of Barcelona’s travelling squad to Portugal. The Brazilian is expected to be out for a month, while Pedri and De Jong will likely not be back in time, at least until the clash against Real Madrid.

Predicted Barcelona lineup vs Porto (4-3-3)

Goalkeeper

Marc Andre ter-Stegen is Barcelona’s undisputed No.1, and he will be eyeing back-to-back clean sheets in the Champions League.

Defence

Ronald Araujo was an unused substitute against Sevilla but could be in the Barcelona lineup for this fixture given Porto’s counter-attacking approach.

The Uruguayan is expected to partner Jules Kounde at the heart of Barcelona’s defence, with Joao Cancelo and Alejandro Balde providing width, energy and creativity from the full-back positions.

The Barcelona back four have to be switched on throughout the game and defend well, especially during Porto’s quick transitions.

Midfield

With Pedri and De Jong out injured, Barcelona’s options in the middle of the park have been limited. This makes Gavi and Ilkay Gundogan, who were superb against Sevilla, certain starters in Portugal. The duo will operate as two No.8s in the Barcelona lineup, with Oriol Romeu adding physicality and strength from the base of Barcelona’s midfield.

The troika of Gavi, Romeu and Gundogan must protect the backline well and control the flow of the game.

Attack

The injury to Raphinha means the right-wing position is up for grabs as Xavi decides who will partner Robert Lewandowski and Joao Felix in the attacking trio.

Teenage prodigy Lamine Yamal was excellent in the 1-0 win over Sevilla, and it wouldn’t be a surprise if Xavi goes with him on the right flank in the Barcelona lineup.

But this is a big away game and in a stadium where big teams have struggled to perform, so Xavi could opt for the experienced Ferran Torres over Yamal to join Lewandowski and Felix in Barcelona’s front three. Yamal, though, could come in the second half to add more spice and pace to the attack if required.

Rohan Sengupta

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