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Xavi explains why Christensen and Balde are not starting for Barcelona against Manchester United

The coach has made changes

FC Barcelona v Sevilla FC - LaLiga Santander Photo by Eric Alonso/Getty Images

Barcelona manager Xavi Hernandez has made two changes to his team to take on Manchester United in the Europa League on Thursday.

Andreas Christensen and Alejandro Balde have been replaced by Marcos Alonso and Jordi Alba for the first leg of the play-off tie.

It’s something of a surprise move as both players have been in good form, but Xavi told Movistar ahead of kick-off that he needs to rotate due to a busy schedule.

“The two changes in defense are because there are many games in the next few days, seven in 21 days, and we have to use all the players to prevent injuries,” he explained. “We need to rotate. We have worked on how to stop their transitions.”

Barcelona’s defense has been incredibly impressive this season, with just seven goals conceded in La Liga, but faces a tough test against an in-form Marcus Rashford on Thursday.

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