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Messi On The Right, Suarez To Start – Strongest 4-3-3 Barcelona Lineup To Face Real Betis

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Predicted Barcelona Lineup To Face Real Betis In La Liga

Barcelona will kick off their 2017/18 La Liga campaign when they take on Real Betis at the Camp Nou on Sunday evening.  

The Catalans are in a bit of a shaky state coming into the new season. Ernesto Valverde has been appointed as the new manager of the club, but the Spaniard has had to deal with the departure of star man Neymar to Paris Saint-Germain. And add to that, they were handed a beating down by Real Madrid over the two legs of the Spanish Supercopa, losing 5-1 on aggregate. Barca will be hoping to turn things around with a win in the league opener against Betis.

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The biggest blow for the new boss is that star striker Luis Suarez is set to miss five weeks of action, after he was seen hobbling off on Wednesday against Real Madrid. It is still yet to be determined if captain Andres Iniesta will be 100% fit for the clash, after missing Wednesday’s Super Cup encounter.

Manager: Ernesto Valverde 

Formation: 4-3-3 

Marc-Andre ter Stegen (GK)

The German looked shaky in the second leg of the Supercopa against Madrid on Wednesday and will look to put in a much-improved display against Betis. 

Aleix Vidal (RB) 

The Spaniard is likely to get the nod at right-back ahead of summer signing Nelson Semedo.

Aleix Vidal
Aleix Vidal

Javier Mascherano (CB) 

With Gerard Pique struggling for form in both the games against Madrid, Valverde might choose to give him a day off and start with Mascherano in the backline.

Samuel Umtiti (CB)

The Frenchman also had a poor outing on Wednesday, but he has been the best centre-back for the Blaugrana over the past year and should start alongside Mascherano.

Jordi Alba (LB) 

The Spaniard should complete the back four for Valverde at left-back, ahead of Lucas Digne.  

Ivan Rakitic (CM) 

Hasn’t been able to find form early in the season but with Iniesta doubtful for the game, the Croatian remains Valverde’s best bet in midfield.

Sergio Busquets (CM)

Barcelona’s No.5 hasn’t quite been able to hit the ground running in the new campaign. Him finding form will be crucial for Valverde and the club.

Sergio Busquets

Denis Suarez (CM) 

With Iniesta a doubt and Andre Gomes’ utterly poor display against Madrid, we could see Denis Suarez given a run out in the midfield. 

Lionel Messi (RW) 

Is yet to hit his stride, but has looked threatening in spurts. With Neymar gone, he will once again have to carry the major creative workload in Barca’s attack.

Paco Alcacer (ST) 

With Luis Suarez out for at least five weeks, last summer’s big money flop signing Paco Alcacer will again get a chance to prove himself for the Catalan club.

Gerard Deulofeu (LW) 

The former academy man was signed back from Everton in the summer and while he has shown glimpses of talent, he does lack consistency in his game. Needs to start repaying the faith the club has shown in him.

Here’s how Barcelona may take the field: