Why Sergi Roberto & Andreas Christensen aren't playing in Barcelona vs PSG

  • Barcelona are without Andreas Christensen and Sergi Roberto for second leg vs PSG
  • Both players picked up third booking of Champions League campaign in first leg
  • Barca have Frenkie de Jong and Pedri available
Andreas Christensen's header handed Barcelona a 3-2 advantage over PSG in their Champions League quarter-final tie
Andreas Christensen's header handed Barcelona a 3-2 advantage over PSG in their Champions League quarter-final tie / Franco Arland/GettyImages

When Xavi turned to Andreas Christensen with 15 minutes remaining of the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final tie against Paris Saint-Germain, preservation was the priority.

Having started his first game in over a month, Frenkie de Jong was unable to go the distance. The scoreline, meanwhile, read two apiece; a fine result away from home in Barcelona's books.

Instead, it was substitute Christensen who proved decisive. While Raphinha was understandably lauded the protagonist of the evening, Christensen was the match-winner as he nodded home from a corner almost immediately after his introduction, ensuring Barcelona took a 3-2 cushion back home.

Barca will take a one-goal advantage into Tuesday's second leg on home soil, but Xavi won't be able to call upon Christensen for further heroics. Here's why.

Why aren't Andreas Christensen and Sergi Roberto not playing for Barcelona against PSG?

The former Chelsea defender picked up a booking two minutes from time last Wednesday to stop PSG youngster Warren Zaire-Emery from breaking away on the counter.

It was Christensen's third booking of the Champions League campaign and he earned a one-game suspension as a result.

He's not the only Barca star suspended for the second leg either. Sergi Roberto, perhaps a surprise inclusion in Xavi's XI last week, picked up a first-half booking which was also his third of the campaign.

Three bookings warrant a one-game suspension, with the slate being wiped clean after the quarter-finals to prevent players missing the final as a result of yellow card accumulation. Thus, the two players will be available for the first leg of the semi-final should Barcelona advance.

Who will replace Andreas Christensen and Sergi Roberto in the Barcelona lineup?

Pedri, Ousmane Dembélé
Pedri made a huge impact off the bench in Paris / Tim Clayton - Corbis/GettyImages

While not a natural holding midfielder, Christensen has helped provide Barcelona's midfield with stability since his conversion and his absence could be hard-felt given that Barca are aiming to preserve a one-goal lead.

Fortunately, Xavi had De Jong back fit and firing, so he's expected to start at the base of midfield again on Tuesday night.

As for Roberto, Pedri returned off the bench in Paris and had an instant impact. The Spaniard could be utilised in a talented and aggressive midfield three alongside De Jong and Ilkay Gundogan. Fermin Lopez is another option for Xavi if the boss opts to use Pedri in a wide left position which allows him to drift infield and overload central areas.