FC Barcelona

Balde & Cancelo On The Flanks: 3-4-1-2 Barcelona Predicted XI vs Shakhtar Donetsk| UCL

After two years of misery in the Champions League group stage, Barcelona have the chance to book their place in the last 16 against Shakhtar Donetsk on Tuesday in Hamburg.

The Catalan giants have been excellent in Group H thus far, topping the section with nine points from three matches. They smashed Royal Antwerp 5-0 in their opener before recording back-to-back successes over Porto and Shakhtar in their last two fixtures.

Xavi Hernandez’s side can guarantee progress with a fourth consecutive victory in Group H, something they have not managed since 2021. They come into this game off the back of a 1-0 victory over Real Sociedad in La Liga on Saturday evening, with Ronald Araujo scoring a stoppage-time winner.

Barcelona Team News

Barcelona will again be without Frenkie de Jong and Sergi Roberto with ankle and calf issues, respectively.

Pedri made his long-awaited return off the bench against Real Sociedad on Saturday and has been named in the travelling Barcelona squad to face Shakhtar Donetsk.

Predicted Barcelona lineup vs Shakhtar Donetsk (3-4-1-2)

Goalkeeper

Barcelona should line up in a 3-4-1-2 formation, with Marc-Andre ter Stegen starting in goal. The German will be raring to shut up shop as quickly as possible against Shakhtar Donetsk.

Defence

Xavi could stick with the back three that started against Real Sociedad last weekend, meaning Ronald Araujo, Jules Kounde and Inigo Martinez all keep their places in the Barcelona lineup. The defensive trio must keep their shape intact and defend well to stop Shakhtar from scoring in Hamburg on Tuesday.

Andreas Christensen will again have to be content with a role on the bench.

Midfield

Oriol Romeu and Ilkay Gundogan could be picked as a pair in central midfield in the Barcelona lineup, with Joao Cancelo and Alejandro Balde operating as wing-backs.

With Romeu sitting deep and intercepting opposition’s attacks, Gundogan will get the chance to go forward and get involved in Barcelona’s attacking play.

Cancelo and Balde will have the onus of stretching the opposition backline from wide areas but they must also fulfil their defensive responsibilities when required. Pedri, who returned from injury last weekend, could enjoy some minutes to get back his rhythm.

Attack

Gavi is suspended for the weekend’s league match against Alaves so it’s only natural that he starts this one in the No.10 role in the Barcelona lineup, with Fermín Lopez moving to the bench.

Robert Lewandowski is working his way back from an ankle problem and was replaced just before the hour against Real Sociedad, which perhaps was an indication of Xavi keeping him fresh for Tuesday’s continental clash with Shakhtar. The Pole is expected to form a two-pronged strike force with Joao Felix in the Barcelona lineup, whose brilliant start to life at Nou Camp has somewhat faded in recent games.

Raphinha will be an option to bring off the bench if the visitors are in need of fresh legs in attack.

Rohan Sengupta

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