Xavi weighing up three possibilities to line-up his team against Manchester United

Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images

FC Barcelona face Manchester United in the second leg of the Europa League play-off round this Thursday. As the match day comes closer, the probable starting line-up of La Blaugrana led by Xavi Hernández is becoming more and more identifiable.

According to Mundo Deportivo, Xavi has been pondering about the team that he will put on the pitch against the Red Devils ever since the first leg ended. In his discussions with his staff, he is trying to explore the best-suited options for the team, that can help get Barcelona into the next round of the tournament.

One of the central points in these discussions is whether to play the team in a 4-3-3 formation with pure wingers or go on with the 4-man midfield that he has been playing with in the last few matches, especially the more important ones. The staff is also wary of the fact that they will be without the services of Pedri and Gavi.

As a result, if such a scheme is implemented for this match, Sergi Roberto would play that role, with a front line of Lewandowski and Raphinha. However, if a 4-3-3 formation is selected, Ferran Torres would be the one of the pure wingers, with Raphinha playing on the opposite wing and Lewandowski in the center of the attack.

Another option could be playing Alejandro Balde and Jordi Alba both, with one having more defensive duties while the other being given more offensive freedom. Sergio Busquets’ status is still not entirely clear, and if he is unable to recover for the match, Kessie might make an appearance in the match.

Whichever the lineup and formation Xavi puts on the field in this match, every player will have to give his best performance to make sure that Barcelona advance to the next round of the tournament, by winning against a formidable opposition.

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