The three alternatives Xavi Hernandez is weighing up against Manchester United

Barcelona have named their squad for Manchester United, with three major absences dominating the minds of Culers and Xavi Hernandez alike. The Blaugrana coach is tasked with working out a way of supplementing their absence, knowing only a win at Old Trafford will do.

Ousmane Dembele and Pedri are both injured, while Gavi is suspended. Sergio Busquets was in the squad on Sunday against Cadiz and is the only major addition from the first leg. Marc Casado is back in the squad, while young attacker Angel Alarcon misses out.

Xavi has something of a conundrum on his hands. Against United at Camp Nou, Barcelona lost control, calling into question the wisdom of continuing the four-man midfield system without Pedri.

Now without Gavi too, Xavi must decide whether to maintain that system or move to a more conventional 4-3-3. MD say he is weighing up three options. If he does so, it looks as if Ferran Torres will accompany Robert Lewandowski and Raphinha up front. The midfield three look as if they will be Franck Kessie, Frenkie de Jong and Sergio Busquets.

One alternative would be to use Sergi Roberto. Captaining the side at the weekend, Roberto scored and assisted against Cadiz. he could also be used as part of a four-man midfield or has formed a front three before.

Perhaps the most radical change would be to use Jordi Alba or Alejandro Balde further forward, doubling up on the left side. Xavi started Alba in the first leg due to his excellent final pass, and may seek to take advantage of that again.

The option he goes for should depend on what kind of game he wants. If he prefers an open encounter, using Ferran would make the most sense. Roberto feels like the safest option, while on current form, selecting Alba would mean picking is best players available.

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