FC Barcelona invite 11th placed Getafe to maximize their lead at the top of the La Liga table. The runaway leaders stumbled to salvage a draw against Espanyol to maintain their unbeaten run but still have managed to pick up 5 wins from their last 6 matches in all competitions. In the league too, they have won 4 out of their previous 5. Although the away side have kept 2 clean sheets in their previous 4, one would not expect Barca to not come up with the goals.
The match has come too early for the liking of Ousmane Dembele, who will remain sidelined. Gerard Pique was taken off against Valencia as he aggravated his knee injury. Left-back Lucas Digne and Sergi Samper are both ruled out and will not be in the equation.
Having not been clinical in front of goal for the first 45 minutes in their last game, due to Leo Messi’s absence, it is clear that he will get to start on the right-wing this game. Apart from that, Valverde should field a 4-3-3 stretched out formation, instead of a 4-4-2. Although their title search is barely jeopardised, the Blaugrana could play a strong XI, keeping in mind their first-half performance last time out.
One of the best keepers around for sure, ter Stegen will guard the goal for Barcelona. His distribution and close-range shot stopping abilities are exquisite.
Semedo’s clean defending and work rate should be seen at right-back.
Mina replaced Pique in the Copa Del Rey game against Valencia and could start here in central defence.
He always stands up to the occasion and defends neatly. Umtiti should accompany Mina.
It’s a no-brainer for him to start at left-back. Alba’s delivery and technique are absolutely spectacular. He is a robust defender too.
Paulinho has worked wonders this season and kept his critics quiet. He is a hard working, skilled and a professional act.
Busquets will sit back and dictate the play. He can break any given attack and release the forwards with utmost ease.
Rakitic should replace Iniesta, who deserves some much-needed rest. He is an excellent pass master and adds pace to the lineup. Rakitic is also an exceptional ball carrier, who has fine one vs one ability.
The magician is expected to return to the lineup. Twinkle-toed and daring, Messi will set the field on fire from the right-wing role. His ability to get past a backline is the best in the world.
He has settled in beautifully and will occupy the left flank. Coutinho is a trickster with a fantastic vision. He got his first Barca goal last night and will be raring to go again.
Suarez will spearhead the attack. He has been prolific and is expected to destroy his opposition this time too. He’s full of sharpness, pace and is a lethal finisher too.
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