FC Barcelona

Barcelona predicted lineup vs Benfica - Champions League

Max Parsons
Barcelona will aim for two from two under Xavi
Barcelona will aim for two from two under Xavi / Anadolu Agency/GettyImages
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Barcelona turn their attention to European matters on Tuesday night, as they host Benfica in Xavi's first Champions League match as a manager.

The 41-year-old featured 151 times in the competition as a player, winning four titles, and will oversee his first managerial experience in Europe's elite club competition as Jorge Jesus' side visits Camp Nou.

Xavi got his reign in the dugout off to an ideal start on Saturday night, beating city rivals Espanyol 1-0 courtesy of a Memphis Depay penalty. Barcelona have endured a comparatively dreadful European campaign so far this season, but a win in his second game in charge would guarantee the club a spot in the Champions League knockout stage with a game to spare.

To do so, La Blaugrana must beat a Benfica side who defeated the Catalans 3-0 earlier in the campaign and who come into this tie in a strong vein of form. Here's who Xavi could field to earn a big three points.


Barcelona predicted lineup vs Benfica - Champions League

1. Goalkeeper & Defenders

Gerard Pique
Gerard Pique will likely continue in central defence / Quality Sport Images/GettyImages

Marc-Andre ter Stegen (GK) - Firmly number one and, despite seeming to have a deep, deep hatred for catching anything, a solid performance in the first game of the Xavi era will see him start this one.

Oscar Mingueza (RB) - Sergino Dest has recently returned from injury to partake in full training and Sergi Roberto represents another option at right-back. Despite a poor showing last time out, however, Mingueza will likely remain there.

Gerard Pique (CB) - A crucial voice at the heart of the back line, Pique will likely feature once again in central defence for La Blaugrana.

Eric Garcia (CB) - Ronald Araujo's return to fitness is a boost for Xavi but, after a very strong outing against Espanyol, Garcia deserves another start.

Jordi Alba (LB) - Like Pique, Xavi's former teammate Alba will surely be a stalwart in the early stages of this new era.

2. Midfielders

Riqui Puig
Riqui Puig should be one of the youngsters to get more opportunities with the arrival of Xavi / Quality Sport Images/GettyImages

Sergio Busquets (DM) - Had a slight injury concern on Saturday night, although should be fit enough to continue in the starting XI - a necessary tool to implement Xavi's ideology into a young squad.

Riqui Puig (CM) - Nico Gonzalez is a minor doubt after rolling his ankle against Espanyol, so it's a great chance to give Puig a deserved opportunity in midfield.

Frenkie de Jong (CM) - A key component of this Barcelona side, his capability of dynamism and invention should see him thrive under Xavi.

3. Forwards

Memphis Depay
Memphis Depay got the only goal in Barcelona's 1-0 win over Espanyol / Quality Sport Images/GettyImages

Philippe Coutinho (RW) - Ilias Akhomach and Abde Ezzalzouli were both brilliant in their respective 45-minute stints against Espanyol, but the more experienced head of Coutinho could be favoured in this one.

Memphis Depay (ST) - Scored the only goal of the game to get the Xavi era off and running in perfect fashion, and should definitely start again.

Gavi (LW) - The new boss has a few options for his front line (the aforementioned teenagers or the returning Dest) but young Gavi could continue at left wing in the absence of Ansu Fati and Ousmane Dembele - especially after yet another influential showing last time out.

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