Barcelona take on Shakhtar Donetsk at 6.45pm CET on Tuesday evening in Hamburg, knowing that a victory would ensure their place in the knockout stages of this season’s Champions League. However, with so many matches in a short period of time, head coach Xavi Hernandez has opted not to go full strength against the Ukrainian champions.
Jules Kounde, Alejandro Balde and Joao Felix have all been rested for the match, and will start from the bench. In their place comes Marcos Alonso, Raphinha and Ferran Torres. Two more change made by Xavi see Inigo Martinez and Fermin Lopez drop out, replaced by Andreas Christensen and Oriol Romeu.
🚨 BARÇA XI 🚨#ShakhtarBarça | @ChampionsLeague pic.twitter.com/jG672MiWo0
— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) November 7, 2023
Shakhtar need three points to realistically keep themselves in contention to reach the knockout stages, and they have named their strongest available team.
🚨 TEAM NEWS ⚒
🧡 Shakhtar line-up for the @ChampionsLeague super match vs Barcelona ⭐️
⚒ We believe in the team! ⏰ 19:45 (18:45 CET) 📺 MEGOGO#ShakhtarBarcelona | #Shakhtar #UCL pic.twitter.com/a2geArNKvY
— FC SHAKHTAR ENGLISH (@FCShakhtar_eng) November 7, 2023
This will be a stern test for Barcelona, and the match two weeks ago should make them aware that they cannot underestimate Shakhtar. The fact that they are 90 minutes away from qualification should be enough motivation to see the job through.