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How will Barcelona line up against Atletico Madrid in the Spanish Super Cup?

The two teams meet in Jeddah on Thursday

FC Barcelona v Arsenal - Club Friendly Photo by Erwin Spek/Soccrates/Getty Images

Barcelona are in Saudi Arabia for the Spanish Super Cup this week and meet Atletico Madrid in the semi-finals of the revamped tournament on Thursday.

Valencia or Real Madrid await the winners in Sunday’s final, and with the games coming in the midst of busy January it’s likely Ernesto Valverde could make changes to his team.

There’s no Marc-Andre ter Stegen, Arthur or Ousmane Dembele due to injury, but a raft of youngsters have been included and will be hoping for some rare first-team minutes.

Let’s look at how they could line-up:

Defence

RCD Espanyol v FC Barcelona - La Liga Photo by Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

Neto will play in goal due to Ter Stegen’s absence, and there could be changes in front of him with a fully-fit backline to choose from.

Samuel Umtiti needs some game time and looks likely to start, while Jean-Clair Todibo is another option in central defence.

On the flanks Nelson Semedo could come back into the starting XI after missing out against Espanyol, and Junior Firpo may get the nod ahead of Jordi Alba at left-back.

Midfield

FC Barcelona B V RCD Espanyol B - Segunda B Photo by Xavier Bonilla/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Ernesto Valverde has plenty of decisions to make in midfield, but we may see Frenkie de Jong again given he’s suspended for Barca’s next La Liga outing.

Arturo Vidal could be handed a rare start in a bid to keep him happy amid more transfer speculation, while Ivan Rakitic or Sergio Busquets are also in contention.

Riqui Puig has been included in the squad which is a promising sign, and while we’d all love to see him start for the first team he may have to settle for a place on the bench.

Attack

FC Barcelona v Real Madrid CF - La Liga Photo by Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

Barcelona are not blessed with too many options in attack due to injury to Dembele, but Ansu Fati and Carles Perez are both fit and will be hoping to get back to action.

Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Antoine Griezmann have started Barca’s last seven La Liga games together, and this is as good a time as any to rest and rotate the frontline.

Possible XI: Neto; Semedo, Todibo, Umtiti, Junior Firpo; De Jong, Busquets, Vidal; Messi, Griezmann, Ansu Fati​.

How do you think Barcelona should line up against Atletico Madrid? Let us know your thoughts, predictions and suggestions in the comments below!

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