Xavi’s plan to help Barcelona nullify PSG – report

HAMBURG, GERMANY - NOVEMBER 06: Xavi Hernández, head coach of FC Barcelona talks with the media during a press conference at Volksparkstadion on November 06, 2023 in Hamburg, Germany.
Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images

In terms of importance, the game against Paris Saint-Germain is crucial for Barcelona. The UEFA Champions League remains their most fair opportunity at a title this season, but it is understandably a difficult hurdle to overcome. For now, Barcelona are preferring to take things one step at a time.

Thus, overcoming PSG will be the first step that they have to take in the UCL. The quarterfinals have long been announced, and while Barça certainly did not get the easiest of opponents to deal with, they are not in the worst position they can be in either. However, the preparations for the PSG encounter have already begun.

For Xavi Hernandez and his coaching staff, there are some key factors worth focusing on because PSG is involved. As highlighted by SPORT, after their in-depth scouting and analysis of the Parisian side, Barcelona have come to understand certain scenarios that have to be absolutely avoided against the Ligue 1 side.

The most important of those scenarios is a game filled with chaos and end-to-end football. PSG, with all their speed and explosiveness, thrive in contests of back-and-forth football. On several instances, that is the brand of football showcased to be most effective for the team led by former Barcelona coach Luis Enrique.

To counter this, SPORT reveals that Xavi plans to ensure stability in the game. By enabling his players to not linger in possession for too long, he will expect them to attract attention to one specific area on the field and then release long passes that can hurt PSG by redirecting the traffic.

However, PSG are also notable for the amount of pressure they like to put on their opponents. Consequently, Xavi will have Barcelona goalkeeper Marc-Andre Ter Stegen and the other involved defenders be more aware of their options for long passes, to ensure that PSG’s pressure can be broken without giving them a chance to regain control of the ball and hurt Barcelona.

It is also believed that the Parisians will likely play a high line to take advantage of their speed across the field. However, this is exactly why Xavi wants his Barcelona to stay in control and gradually make their way up the field towards the PSG goal to ensure that at no point do they have a lapse in judgment that could ultimately harm their own team at any given point.

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