Xavi hints at team selection for Barcelona’s huge trip to Manchester United


Sergi Roberto is likely to start for Barcelona on Thursday night (Picture: Getty Images)

With both Pedri and Gavi missing for Barcelona on Thursday night, manager Xavi has hinted Sergi Roberto will come into the side for the clash with Manchester United at Old Trafford.

Pedri was injured in the first leg at the Camp Nou, while a booking for Gavi in the second half means he is banned for the trip to England.

Having recovered from injury, club legend Sergio Busquets is going to come into the midfield, while it seems that Sergi Roberto will also be in midfield after starting a scoring the opener in a 2-0 La Liga win over Cadiz on Sunday.

‘He’s a guarantee, he always does well,’ Xavi told Sport of the 31-year-old. ‘I’m sure he will be important, he can play in several positions.’

On is plans for the second leg at Old Trafford after the first meeting finished 1-1 in Barcelona, Xavi said: ‘I have already decided, but the idea does not change.

‘We have to occupy the spaces, we are a very offensive team. We need to understand the game. It’s a game to show that Barca can compete in Europe.

‘It varies in that with midfielders we need to counter-attack less, it depends on how the game goes, either way.’

Roberto has been at Barcelona his entire professional career, making his debut back in 2010 and has racked up over 300 appearances for the Catalan giants playing in defence and midfield.

Never one of the stars of the team, but the Spaniard is looking to add the Europa League title to his CV having already won six La Liga and two Champions Leagues.

On Barca missing two key players for the match this week, United boss Erik ten Hag said: ‘Gavi and Pedri are big, great players even though are very young. They had a positive effect but also their squad has so much depth in it.

‘They have players who can replace them and tomorrow will be a very good team. If we want to win we have to be at our best’.

MORE : ‘He’s a serious man’ – Barcelona boss Xavi backs Qatari bid for Manchester United

MORE : How Manchester United should line-up against Barcelona ahead of Carabao Cup final against Newcastle United

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