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Barcelona vs. Osasuna, La Liga 2017: Predicted Lineups

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Who starts for Barça on Wednesday?

FC Barcelona v Paris Saint-Germain - UEFA Champions League Round of 16: Second Leg Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images

The win in El Clásico was great, but it means nothing for Barcelona if they don't follow up with three points against the worst team in La Liga. The Catalan giants face Osasuna on Wednesday, and Los Rojillos will basically say hello to relegation if they lose at Camp Nou.

Barça will play this one on the back of two very intense matches against Juventus and Real Madrid, so expect a few rotations to the side ahead of the Catalan Derby against Espanyol at the weekend.

Let's take a look at how the teams are expected to line up on Wednesday.

BARCELONA

Luis Enrique is a fan of rotations against bad teams, especially at home, so there's no way he doesn't do it again here. This strategy has backfired a lot this season, but Lucho wouldn't be Lucho if he wasn't stubborn. Plus, the Clásico and the Juventus game took a lot from the biggest players, so we should see a few of them getting a day off.

In goal, nothing changes with Ter Stegen retaining his place after a spectacular performance at the Bernabéu. Sergi Roberto, another unsung hero of the Clásico stays as right-back with no replacement at the moment. Jordi Alba should stay in the left-back position, although he has played three games in a row and Lucas Digne may have a chance to play.

With Javier Mascherano back from injury, we could also see one of Gerard Piqué or Samuel Umtiti rested. I would bet Piqué is on the bench here, because he's older and Umtiti is a physical freak that never gets tired. Plus, given that Osasuna are not really a threat on set pieces, Enrique could get away with playing two relatively short center-backs.

In midfield, Sergio Busquets is back to his dominant self, and there's no reason to rest him here. Andrés Iniesta will definitely not start and could even be out of the squad list entirely, so André Gomes and Denis Suarez will fight for a place alongside Ivan Rakitic, who just cannot be dropped after his Clásico performance, which was amazing. The Croatian has played really well in recent weeks, and given the three-day interval from Sunday's match, he'll be fit enough to start again.

Up front, Lionel Messi and Luis Suárez start for obvious reasons, and Paco Alcácer is expected to retain his place in the attack after his solid performances against Real Sociedad and Real Madrid. There is a possibility that Arda Turan comes back from injury and starts, but since Osasuna will probably play with five at the back, it makes sense to repeat the Clásico formation and have Alcácer as a striker in the box with Suárez, with Messi playing behind them with freedom to move and impact the play in the middle.

Predicted XI: Ter Stegen; Roberto, Mascherano, Umtiti, Alba; Busquets, Rakitic, Gomes; Messi; Suárez, Alcácer

OSASUNA

Things are not easy for manager Petar Vasiljević, who's trying to dig his team out of a major relegation hole while contending with an insane amount of injuries. Up to TEN players could miss the game at Camp Nou, and a lot of youth Academy players could be on the bench.

Given the problems and Osasuna's relatively good form (two wins in the last four games), there's no reason to change the current team, which will probably play five at the back and try to get a goal on the counter at Camp Nou. Keep an eye on Sergio León, the team's top scorer and a counter-attacking threat.

Predicted XI: Sirigu; Buñuel, Oier, Márquez, Fuentes, Clerc; Fausto, Torres, Causic; León, Kodro


Who do you think should start for Barça on Wednesday, Blaugranes? Comment below!