Predicted Barcelona Line-up To Face Athletic Bilbao
FC Barcelona defeated minnows Real Murcia CF 3-0 in the Round of 32 Copa del Rey clash and have their eyes set on the Basque club from Bilbao now. The fixture at San Mames is going to be a test for Ernesto Valverde, who managed Bilbao before joining Barcelona this summer, and had a successful coaching stint there over the years. So it’s pretty obvious the emotions would be running high. It’s going to be an interesting game for Barcelona who have Real Madrid and Valencia breathing down their neck. Madrid have shrugged off the initial slip-ups and are managing to win their games and Valencia seem unstoppable.
Let’s have a look at how Ernesto Valverde may field his XI on the night:
Manager: Ernesto Valverde
Marc Andre ter Stegen (GK)
Marc Andre ter Stegen returns to the squad after missing out on the Copa del Rey clash. should start.
Nelson Semedo (RB)
Semedo started in the midweek game against Murcia and he’s expected to provide stability and flexibility down the right flank.
Gerard Pique (CB)
Pique returns to the squad after deputy, Mascherano was asked to replace him for a couple of games.
Samuel Umtiti (CB)
Umtiti is one of the most promising centre-backs in the world and his performance will be crucial on the night.
Lucas Digne (LB)
Valverde decided to call him in order to replace the injured Alba, and Digne has had a good string of games since then. He has impressed Ernesto enough to keep his place in the squad for this match, despite Alba’s return from injury.
Sergio Busquets (DM)
Busquets will be the crucial link between Barca’s defence and attack, as always.
Ivan Rakitic (CM)
The Croatian is going through a poor run of form and cules will hope for him to be at his best tonight.
Denis Suarez (LW)
Denis Suarez has done well and should keep his place in the line-up.
Gerard Deulofeu (RW)
Deulofeu has managed to impress whenever he’s been given an opportunity and he scored a wonderful solo goal in the midweek clash against Murcia.
Lionel Messi (CF)
After Atletico Madrid, Messi has scored the maximum number of goals against the Basque side of Bilbao and that tells you how important he is going to be on the night.
Luis Suarez (LF)
Luis Suarez has to be very sharp in front of goal order to avoid a slip-up at San Mames.