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Spanish Supercup: Athletic Bilbao vs Barcelona: Projected Lineups

David Ramos/Getty Images

Another title is on the line for Barcelona as they look for the fifth trophy of 2015, this time playing the Spanish Supercup against Athletic Bilbao, with the first of two legs to be contested on Friday. Both teams have tactical decisions to make, so we take a look at what lineups the coaches might choose, and why.

First, the hosts:

Athletic Club (4-2-3-1)


De Marcos - Etxeita - Laporte - Balenziaga

San José - Gurpegi

Susaeta - Beñat - Sabin


Coach Ernesto Valverde has ultra-important players missing the game: four certain starters -- midfielders Iturraspe, Muniain and Rico, along with prospect striker Iñaki Williams -- are unlikely to feature on either of the two legs due to injuries, which forces the use of backups on his midfield to deal with Barça's powerful game through the middle. His defense, however, is virtually untouched, with fantastic young center-back Aymeric Laporte fit and ready to go. Up front, Aritz Aduriz will have the responsibility to convert whichever opportunities he has, and he is good enough to score goals.

Barcelona (4-3-3)


Alves - Piqué - Mascherano - Adriano

Rakitic - Busquets - Iniesta

Messi - Suárez - Pedro

Still missing Neymar Jr. coach Luis Enrique has something of a good headache on the attacking part of his lineup -- both Rafinha Alcântara and Pedro Rodríguez were key players on the last game against Sevilla, although Pedro only played for 35 minutes. Him scoring the game-winning goal, however, should throw some doubts on Lucho's mind regarding who will play alongside Lionel Messi and Luis Suárez.

At left-back, Adriano Correia is fit, and there is a chance he's chosen over Jérémy Mathieu, who had a horrific performance last Tuesday. On goal, Marc-André ter Stegen is usually chosen for Cup matches, but since these are basically two extra La Liga matches with a title on the line, there is a good possibility that Claudio Bravo makes his official season debut at San Mamés.

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