New PSG role for Verratti against Barca

There are three Italy internationals starting for PSG in the Champions League against Barcelona, with a new trequartista role for Marco Verratti.

The first leg in the Round of 16 tie kicks off at 20.00 GMT.

Coach Mauricio Pochettino picks Verratti after he recovered from a hip injury.

It was the latest in a series of setbacks for the midfielder, who before that had muscular issues and twice tested positive for COVID-19.

Verratti is set to be played in a new role, as the central figure behind the main striker Mauro Icardi, in a 4-2-3-1 formation.

This would effectively make him a trequartista rather than a midfield playmaker.

He is flanked by fellow Italy international Moise Kean and Kylian Mbappé, as Neymar and Angel Di Maria are out injured.

There is set to be a third Azzurri player too, as Alessandro Florenzi has become first choice at right-back since his loan move from Roma.

Barcelona also rush a player back from injury, as Gerard Pique only had knee surgery in late November and was not expected to be in the squad yet, let alone in the starting XI.

Official line-ups

Barcelona: Ter Stegen; Dest, Piqué, Lenglet, Alba; Busquets, De Jong, Pedri; Messi, Griezmann, Dembélé

PSG: Navas; Florenzi, Marquinhos, Kimpembe, Kurzawa; Gueye, Paredes; Kean, Verratti, Mbappé; Icardi

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