The Annual Trip to Hell happens on Saturday for Barcelona, as the La Liga leaders travel to the Basque Country to face Real Sociedad in a ground where the Blaugranes have not won since 2007.
Normally, coach Luis Enrique would go all out with his team selection and put his best eleven players on pitch. But with the second leg of the Champions League quarterfinal against Atlético Madrid just around the corner and a few starters tired, the Asturian manager could rotate his squad and name a different eleven than the Gala team he used in the last two games.
All things considered, this is likely to be the starting lineup for Saturday:
Alves - Piqué - Vermaelen - Alba
Rakitic - Roberto - Arda
Messi - Munir - Neymar
Luis Suárez is suspended, so his absence is certain, and with Munir being the only forward on the bench thanks to an injury to Sandro Ramírez, the young La Masia product is very likely to start. This is good news for Enrique, since Munir scored in his last two starts against Eibar and Getafe.
On defense, Claudio Bravo returns to his league duties, another certain change. On defense, Javier Mascherano is the defender with most minutes played this season, and he will be fundamental in the Calderón, so he could get a day off. With the obvious replacement in Jérémy Mathieu injured, Thomas Vermaelen is the next man up.
In the midfield, Enrique could rest Andrés Iniesta after two very tough matches against the Madrid giants, with Arda Turan starting again. Another change, a little less likely, could be Sergi Roberto starting in place of Sergio Busquets. Jordi Alba could rest and be replaced by the medically cleared Adriano Correia, but that is not a change we would expect in a difficult match on the road.
What do you think the starting lineup should be, Blaugranes?