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On Wednesday evening, Barcelona will face Porto in the UEFA Champions League with both teams currently occupying the top two spots in Group H. Barcelona overcame Antwerp in their opener while Porto recorded a win against Shakhtar Donetsk. The match will be played at Porto’s Estádio do Dragão and kick off is at 20:00 UK time.
Barcelona vs Porto Champions League team news
- 1 Barcelona vs Porto Champions League team news
- 2 Barcelona predicted lineup vs Porto – Our top three
- 3 Barcelona predicted lineup vs Porto – The final word
Barcelona are set to be without a number of key players for the trip to Portugal on Wednesday night, something that Xavi could unquestionably do without given how poorly last year’s Champions League group stage went for the Catalans.
Raphinha, Xavi’s preferred choice on the right wing, was forced off in the first half of Barcelona’s weekend clash with Sevilla with a hamstring problem and the Brazilian hasn’t travelled to Porto with the rest of the squad. His absence could mean a start for Lamine Yamal who looked bright when he came off the bench against Antwerp in matchday one.
In midfield, Frenkie de Jong and Pedri are still unavailable and neither player was in the travelling party to Portugal. Without two of his first-choice midfielders, Ilkay Gundogan will be more important than ever with Gavi and Romeu likely to partner the experienced midfielder in the engine room.
Barcelona predicted lineup
Ter Stegen, Cancelo, Kounde, Christensen, Balde, Romeu, Gavi, Gundogan, Felix, Lewandowski, Yamal
Barcelona predicted lineup vs Porto – Our top three
Ilkay Gundogan – The man in the middle
Last season, Ilkay Gundogan was a key player as Manchester City won the UEFA Champions League. He played in every single game for the Blues in their run to the final and also started the showpiece event against Inter Milan.
Since signing for Barcelona, Gundogan has been a key player for Xavi and started their opening group game against Antwerp. He finished the match with a pass success percentage of 95% and provided an assist for Joao Felix for the opener in what was a splendid Barcelona goal.
After the match, Xavi waxed lyrical about the German, saying: “When Gundo has the ball, everything gets better. As simple as that. He does everything well, absolutely everything. If we play good is because of guys like him. His signing was heaven-sent, honestly. A superlative player, a total joy to watch.”
Robert Lewandowski – The goal machine
While Gundogan is important in the middle of the pitch, Robert Lewandowski remains the go-to man for a goal in this Barcelona team. Last season, he won the La Liga Golden Boot and so far this season, he has five goals in eight league matches. He scored one against Antwerp in matchday one and will be looking to add to that against Porto.
Joao Felix – A man on a mission
After being deemed surplus to requirement by Diego Simeone last season, Joao Felix endured a disappointing loan spell at Chelsea. After the came to an end, he signed for Barcelona – his “dream” club. Life in Catalonia is going far better for Felix thus far and this game presents him with an opportunity to play against his boyhood club so he will be keen to impress.
Will Raphinha play against Porto?
Raphinha is usually a regular in the Barcelona team but sustained a hamstring injury against Sevilla at the weekend. Xavi has stated that the Bazilian winger will miss at least two matches due to the injury so he won’t be facing Porto on Wednesday.
Barcelona predicted lineup vs Porto – The final word
After finishing 3rd in their group last season, Barcelona will be desperate to avoid a repeat performance this time around. They are a club that belongs in the knockout rounds of the Champions League and no one will be more aware of that than Xavi. A win here would already give them one foot in the last 16 and we expect them to enjoy a statement victory.
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