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How will Barcelona line up against Athletic in the Spanish Super Cup final?

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A trophy is up for grabs on Sunday

Athletic Club v FC Barcelona - La Liga Santander Photo by Jose Breton/Pics Action/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Barcelona and Athletic clash again for the second time in 2021 on Sunday at the Estadio La Cartuja de Sevilla with the Spanish Super Cup up for grabs.

The tournament offers Ronald Koeman and Marcelino the chance to lift a first trophy with their new clubs after coming through tricky semi-finals.

Barca needed penalties to see off Real Sociedad after a 1-1 draw after extra-time, while Athletic secured an impressive 2-1 victory over Real Madrid.

Koeman’s side ran out 3-2 winners 10 days again at San Mames but can they do the same again on Sunday?

Let’s look at how they might line up:

Defense

Real Sociedad v FC Barcelona - Spanish Super Cup Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images

Marc-Andre ter Stegen will be back in goal for Barcelona after a stunning performance last time out but there could be changes to the backline in front of the German.

Sergino Dest dropped out against Real Sociedad due to a minor injury problem but is expected to be fit and come in at right-back at the expense of Oscar Mingueza.

Yet Mingueza is still an option in central defense. Ronald Araujo and Clement Lenglet look the most likely pairing but Mingueza and Samuel Umtiti are both available.

Midfield

Real Sociedad v FC Barcelona - Spanish Super Cup Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images

Barca’s midfield was in good shape against Real Sociedad and looks unlikely to change unless there are any injury problems. There were whispers Frenkie de Jong had a bit of discomfort during the match but he did stay on until the very end.

Riqui Puig may be hoping for some minutes after netting the decisive penalty against Real Sociedad but is likely to have to settle for a place on the bench along with Miralem Pjanic.

Attack

Real Sociedad v FC Barcelona - Spanish Super Cup Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images

The big question in attack is whether Lionel Messi will return. The captain wasn’t risked in midweek and won’t be again on Sunday unless he is 100 per cent ready for the match.

Martin Braithwaite is likely to continue if Messi misses out, while Antoine Griezmann should also start after notching his fifth assist of the season last time out against his former club.

Ousmane Dembele should be the final piece of the puzzle, although it will be interesting to see if he starts again. Koeman has said recently his game time will need to be carefully managed, and he has now started the last four and played 120 minutes in midweek (plus an excellent penalty in the shootout).

Possible XI: Ter Stegen; Dest, Araujo, Lenglet, Alba; Busquets, De Jong, Pedri; Dembele, Griezmann, Braithwaite.

How do you think Barcelona should line up on Sunday? Let us know your thoughts, predictions and teams in the comments below!