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Valverde to make 5 changes – Predicted 4-4-2 Barcelona lineup to face Real Betis

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Predicted Barcelona Lineup To Face Real Betis In The La Liga

Barcelona will look to bounce back from the midweek cup defeat, when they take on Real Betis in the La Liga, at the Estadio Benito Villamarin on Sunday. 

The Catalans were handed a shock 1-0 defeat by local rivals Espanyol in the first leg of their Copa Del Rey quarter-final clash on Wednesday night and manager Ernesto Valverde will be intent to get his side back to winning ways and further extend their lead at the top of the La Liga table. Barcelona have accrued 51 points from 19 league games this season and sit 8 points above closest challengers Atletico Madrid.  

Team News 

Summer signing Ousmane Dembele is set for another spell on the sidelines with a hamstring problem, while winter arrival Philippe Coutinho is also unavailable due to a thigh injury. Fellow January signing Yerry Mina also misses out as he awaits his international clearance.

Andres Iniesta, Javier Mascherano, Paco Alcacer, Samuel Umtiti are all doubtful for the game, while Paulinho too might not be involved after being subbed off injured in the loss to Espanyol. 

Here’s how the Blaugrana could take the field against Betis on Sunday:

Manager: Ernesto Valverde 

Formation: 4-4-2 

Marc-Andre ter Stegen (GK) 

Having been benched for the cup game, the German international will resume duties between the sticks when league action returns.

Nelson Semedo (RB)

The Portuguese full-back was on the bench for the derby defeat on Wednesday night but could find himself featuring from the get-go on Sunday.

Gerard Pique (CB)

Barcelona’s trusted lieutenant in the heart of the defence, Gerard Pique is a definite starter week in week out.

Nelson Semedo

Thomas Vermaelen (CB) 

The Belgian international has re-established himself this season after a couple of years of struggle. Should continue to partner Pique at the back.  

Jordi Alba (LB) 

Was not used in the cup loss to Espanyol but is set to return to the fold for Sunday’s clash. His forward forays are a key outlet for the Catalans.

Sergi Roberto (RM)

The Spaniard has been preferred to summer signing Nelson Semedo in the past couple of months at right-back. Could start in an advanced role on the right-hand side against Betis.  

Ivan Rakitic (CM) 

Did not start the Copa Del Rey match but with Paulinho being doubtful, he should come back into the starting XI for Sunday’s game.

Sergio Busquets (CM)

The Spanish midfielder will occupy the other midfield slot for Barca and look to shield his back four and recycle possession for his attacking teammates.

Sergio Busquets

Denis Suarez (LM) 

Given the number of injuries Barcelona have been hit with, the former Villarreal man is likely to continue on the left-hand side of the midfield.  

Lionel Messi (ST)

Missed a penalty on Wednesday that cost his side the game. Will be eager to bounce back with a magical performance against Betis.  

Luis Suarez (ST) 

Did not start the game against Espanyol but should partner up Messi at the top of the attack at the Benito Villamarin.