Manuel Queimadelos Alonso/Getty Images
Barcelona is known for having the strongest midfielder in the world of football. But against AC Milan, that midfield will have to perform its best and possibly without Xavi.
After picking up an injury recently, Xavi has been a doubt for the Champions League clash. Though Xavi has been given clearance and was included in the squad, there is still no word on whether or not he will start.
Fans will certainly be hoping that the midfield maestro features. But if Xavi does not see the pitch, Barcelona will have to rely on other players to control the middle of the pitch.
It will be up to young Thiago to pick up the slack, while he should be paired with Sergio Busquets and Cesc Fábregas.
Thiago and Cesc are very attack-minded midfielders who will look to help Lionel Messi around the box. While the duo is strong in possession, their heavy attacking may leave gaps for Milan to exploit.
The major factor for the Barcelona midfielder will rest on the shoulders of Sergio Busquets.
Busquets has been in stellar form as of late and will be expected to pick up the defensive slack left by Thiago and Cesc. The Catalan midfielder is the best in the world at his position, but he will certainly need to show that against Milan.
The key battle to watch in this game will absolutely be between Sergio Busquets and Riccardo Montolivo.
Cules everywhere will be putting their hopes in Busquets while also crossing their fingers that Xavi will be available for the match. On paper, Barcelona's midfielder should prove nearly unstoppable, but anything can happen in football.