Predicted XIs Shakhtar Donetsk-Barcelona: Xavi Hernandez preparing to rest and rotate

Barcelona can secure their place in the knockout stages of the Champions League with a victory over Shakhtar Donetsk on Tuesday. Three points would secure that neither the Ukrainian champions nor Royal Antwerp can overhaul them, meaning that a top two position would be secured.

It has been a hectic schedule for Barcelona, and with players having played plenty of minutes over the last few weeks, head coach Xavi Hernandez is planning changes for this one. Specifically, Sport expect Alejandro Balde, Joao Felix and Ronald Araujo to be rested, with Marco Alonso, Ferran Torres and Raphinha to start in Hamburg. It means that Joao Cancelo will move back into a conversional right-back role.

Fermin Lopez is also expected to be rotated out, with Oriol Romeu making a return to the starting XI. Andreas Christensen is in line to replace Inigo Martinez in defence.

Shakhtar will be well aware of the importance of his match, especially with Porto hosting Antwerp in the other Group H match. A victory would keep them in the hunt for progression to the knockout stages, but a loss and a Porto win would see them all but out.

It has been far from a vintage Champions League season so far for Barcelona, but they will be hoping for a comfortable victory on Tuesday evening, although they surely won’t get that as Shakhtar will be a serious threat.