Barcelona prepare themselves for their next test up ahead in the UEFA Champions League. Set to face off against Shakhtar Donetsk, Barcelona will welcome the Ukrainian side to the Montjuic Stadium on Wednesday.
With two games already played in the competition, Barcelona currently have six points from two wins. This puts them at first position in their Group H, above Porto who currently have 3 points to their name.
Against the Ukrainian side, Barcelona will want to ensure that they take away all the spoils. In turn, this should ensure their qualification to the Round of 16 for the first time since the 2020/21 season. With the squad list already released, it is time to look at those who could leave their mark.
Here is how Barcelona could line up against Shakhtar.
Goalkeeper: Marc Andre Ter Stegen
Yet another great performance against Bilbao sees Ter Stegen keep another clean sheet. The German goalkeeper is enjoying a fine run of form, and he will hope to continue it against their Ukrainian opposition.
Right-back: Joao Cancelo
The Portuguese fullback has been exceptional for Barcelona this season. Against Athletic Bilbao, he showcased that he could be a reliable defensive outlet too. Coupled with his offensive attributes, Barcelona have found the ideal heir to their right-back position.
Centre-back: Ronald Araujo
Rested against Bilbao, Ronald Araujo will now be fit to start against Shakhtar. With El Clasico on the horizon, the Uruguayan will want to be at full sharpness. His participation could even be key to defining the starters for Xavi against Los Blancos later this week.
Centre-back: Inigo Martinez
Given his sublime performance against Athletic Club, Inigo Martinez has truly raised expectations. It would come as no surprise to see the Basque defender start against Barça’s Ukrainian opposition.
Left-back: Marcos Alonso
With Alejandro Balde set to be rested against Shakhtar potentially, he will have to be replaced. In terms of a natural replacement, only Marcos Alonso comes up as the name. The veteran defender has patiently waited his turn and it seems that his time to represent Barcelona is once again here.
CDM: Oriol Romeu
The Barcelona pivot continues to be a reliable midfield option. Certainly not a world-beater, but he has been a loyal servant to the club. Since he will not be getting any younger, the Spaniard will want to make the most of his opportunities with Barcelona while he still can.
CM: Fermin Lopez
Among the most promising subsidiary players, Fermin Lopez does not stop impressing. Already a regular member of the first team at this point, his participation has been crucial. His sense of positioning and particularly his eye for goal are key traits that make him so effective.
CM: Ilkay Gundogan
Ilkay Gundogan could be one of the most important starters for Barcelona against Shakhtar. Considering Gavi’s suspension and the various midfield injuries, Gundogan will be crucial. His line-breaking passes, ability to connect with good opportunities in the box, as well as his leadership skills, will all come in handy for a rather depleted Barça side against their Ukrainian opponents.
Right-winger: Lamine Yamal
La Masia’s gem and a true prodigy of Barcelona, Lamine Yamal’s rise has been historic. The dynamic winger was rested initially against Bilbao but will be expected to start against Shakhtar in a crucial Champions League clash.
Centre-forward: Ferran Torres
The Spaniard will be hoping to take full advantage of Lewandowski’s absence. His participation will be key against Shakhtar Donetsk in the Champions League clash. His intelligent runs and clinical finishing this season have both been a lethal combination, one that he will want to show off against Shakhtar as well.
Left-winger: Joao Felix
The Portuguese star continues to showcase his merits and qualities for Barcelona. Against Bilbao, he was arguably the most potent attacking threat. Now, he will be hoping to recreate that danger and even more against an opponent in the Champions League.