FC Barcelona

Barcelona predicted lineup vs Eintracht Frankfurt - Europa League

Grey Whitebloom
Xavi played 13 matches in the forerunner to the Europa League, the UEFA Cup for Barcelona
Xavi played 13 matches in the forerunner to the Europa League, the UEFA Cup for Barcelona / Soccrates Images/GettyImages

Barcelona welcome Eintracht Frankfurt to Camp Nou for the second leg of their Europa League quarter-final on Thursday night.

The Catalans would have been pleased to earn a 1-1 draw in the first leg against Eintracht Frankfurt's furious pace. However, Xavi will be even more thrilled that the second leg is being held on home turf (literally) after complaining about the conditions in Germany: “The field was not in perfect condition and it did not make the game easier,” he moaned.

Xavi has a long track record of blaming opposition surfaces after poor Barcelona displays, calling into question the grass length at Real Valladolid, Real Sociedad and Real Madrid to give just three royal examples.

Here's the XI Xavi may deploy on the pristine pitch at Camp Nou.

1. Goalkeeper & defenders

Marc-Andre ter Stegen (GK) - Barcelona's German number one shared his nation's friendly against Israel with Frankfurt's custodian, Kevin Trapp, in March, each given a half in which neither conceded.

Ronald Araujo (RB) - Xavi's roaming nullifier, Araujo is shifted around the pitch to snuff out the danger posed by the opposition's chief threat and may well be tasked with quelling the impact of Frankfurt's Filip Kostic once more.

Gerard Pique (CB) - After the umpteenth jarring stretch or strain of his season, Pique's involvement in the first leg was cut short. However, Xavi assured the cules that the club president-in-waiting will try his best to "force" a return.

Eric Garcia (CB) - Despite the troubles Frankfurt caused last week, Garcia will at least be buoyed by arguably his best performance of the season - despite conceding a penalty - against Levante last weekend.

Jordi Alba (LB) - For the fourth time in the last five seasons, Alba has racked up double digits for assists across all competitions.

2. Midfielders

Pedri (CM) - With three goals in his last five appearances, Pedri has scored as many as he netted in his previous 46 outings for the club.

Sergio Busquets (CM) - A yellow card suspension has been the only thing able to stop Busquets from appearing for Barcelona this season.

Frenkie de Jong (CM) - The Dutchman has created Barcelona's last two Europa League goals.

3. Forwards

Ousmane Dembele (RW) - Despite an anonymous display on Sunday, Xavi surely can't fall foul of overlooking Dembele again after the impact he provided from the bench in the first leg.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (ST) - Only two other players - Radamel Falcao (30) and Aritz Aduriz (26) - can better Aubameyang's tally of 24 Europa League goals in the competition's history.

Ferran Torres (LW) - Since his debut for the club in the middle of January, Torres has started 16 of Barcelona's 17 matches across four different competitions.