Pedri, Cubarsi to start: Barcelona predicted line-up vs PSG


Barcelona's Spanish midfielder #08 Pedri arrives to a press conference on the eve of their UEFA Champions League quarter-final second leg football match against Paris SG at the training center in Barcelona on April 15, 2024.
Photo by JOSEP LAGO/AFP via Getty Images

FC Barcelona are set to take on PSG in one of their most hotly anticipated clashes of the season. La Blaugrana are not exactly favorites for the encounter, despite having a one-goal advantage in the second leg. However, with two evenly matched teams set to face off, Barcelona will look to give their all.

Having rested several key players in the game against Cadiz, Xavi has already potentially hinted at his starting eleven for this encounter. Several big names will likely return to the field as starters, and Barcelona will be expected to be at their best if they hope to advance against their Parisian opponents.

Here is how Barcelona could line up against PSG.

Expected Line-up:

Goalkeeper: Marc-Andre Ter Stegen

At the moment, Marc-Andre Ter Stegen is enjoying some of his best football all season. The German international is consistently keeping clean sheets, and while that is a tall ask against a side like PSG, Barcelona will be hoping their number one between the sticks can do something similar against the Parisians.

Left-back: Joao Cancelo

Now fully rested, Joao Cancelo should be back in the team for Barcelona against PSG. The skillful Portuguese star can give Barça’s French rivals a lot of problems to deal with as long as his end product is more calculated than it was in the first leg.

Centre-back: Pau Cubarsi

The young 17-year-old continues to amaze with his talent and determination. Having kept a clean sheet as the standout defender in the last encounter against Cadiz as well, Barcelona is enjoying the eruption of Cubarsi within Catalonia. They will be hoping for more of the same against PSG as well.

Centre-back: Ronald Araujo

A man for big occasions, Ronald Araujo has tussled with some of Europe’s finest already. Having come up huge for Barcelona against many of those rivals, he did well to keep PSG at bay during the first leg as well. Now, when it matters most, Araujo has the opportunity to help his team out greatly.

Right-back: Jules Kounde

The Frenchman marshaled Kylian Mbappe expertly well in the first leg. A huge achievement for any defender, and even more so for a centre-back who is currently playing as a fullback. However, the tie is not over yet, and more of his defensive abilities will be needed against PSG once more.

CDM: Frenkie De Jong

The Dutch maestro of Barcelona could take on the pivot role in this game given that Andreas Christensen is suspended for the encounter. However, Barcelona will need him to put in a massive shift so that he can offer both defensive stability as well as his creativity while Barça are on the attack.

CM: Ilkay Gundogan

A former winner of the Champions League and a true veteran of the competition, Ilkay Gundogan will be a great asset for Barcelona in this game. His vision, timing, experience, and other factors should give Barcelona a great mind in a midfield battle that they simply can not afford to lose.

CM: Pedri

The choice between Fermin Lopez or Pedri will be a crucial one for Xavi, and one that he can not make an error in. However, given the likely intensity and quality of this encounter, Barcelona could do well to use Pedri’s ingenuity and creative magic to overcome a PSG side that will try to close down as much space as possible.

Left-winger: Raphinha

Raphinha’s heroics in the first leg were instrumental in helping Barcelona overcome PSG. His two goals were the major difference maker in that tie, and Xavi will be hoping that his Brazilian winger can contribute more of the same in the all-important second leg.

Centre-forward: Robert Lewandowski

The Polish ace’s performance in the first leg helped Barcelona in ways besides just scoring goals. While he will be hoping to get on the scoresheet in the second leg, his hold-up play and intelligence with the ball are equally important assets for Barcelona.

Right-winger: Lamine Yamal

While Lamine Yamal did not have the most prolific of first legs by his own standards, he was influential nonetheless. The first goal came through his ingenuity, and this time around in the second leg he will be hoping to have a much more direct influence in the game.

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