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How will Barcelona line up against Sevilla?

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A crunch game in La Liga on Saturday

Sevilla v FC Barcelona - Spanish Copa del Rey Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images

Barcelona head to Sevilla on Saturday in La Liga for the first of two games against Julen Lopetegui’s side.

Ronald Koeman’s men head into the match a place and two points above Sevilla in the table, although Saturday’s opponents do have a game in hand.

Barca were beaten 2-0 on their last visit to the Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán but will be hoping for a much better result this time around.

Let’s see how they might line-up.

Defense

FC Barcelona v Cadiz CF - La Liga Santander Photo by Xavier Bonilla/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Koeman has some big decisions to make in defense after seeing his side finally keep a clean sheet against Elche. Ronald Araujo is close to a comeback but seems unlikely to start this one and may be kept in reserve for the Copa del Rey clash on Wednesday.

Gerard Pique looks set to continue and will probably be partnered by either Samuel Umtiti or Clement Lenglet. Umtiti got the nod in midweek with Lenglet benched after his error against Cadiz.

Oscar Mingueza and Sergino Dest are both options at right-back, while Jordi Alba should start on the opposite flank unless Koeman decides to give him a rest and turn to Junior Firpo instead.

Midfield

FC Barcelona v Elche CF - La Liga Santander Photo by Alex Caparros/Getty Images

Koeman is likely to make changes to his midfield after starting Miralem Pjanic against Elche and hauling the midfielder off at half-time after an ineffective showing. Sergio Busquets is the most likely player to return to the starting XI.

Frenkie de Jong and Pedri also look set to continue unless Koeman fancies giving Riqui Puig a rare outing. It’s also possible that Koeman could tweak formation. His switch to a 4-2-3-1 against Elche in midweek brought a much-improved showing and is also an option.

Attack

FC Barcelona v Elche CF - La Liga Santander Photo by Alex Caparros/Getty Images

Martin Braithwaite was handed a rare start in midweek and will be hoping he can keep his place after bagging two assists. If that’s the case then Antoine Griezmann may have to settle for a place on the bench. The Frenchman did come on as a substitute against Elche but was once again wasteful in front of goal.

Ousmane Dembele is another player who could return to the starting line-up on Saturday. The Frenchman was a half-time substitute in midweek and helped open up the game. Francisco Trincao is also an option and could feature as well as the Frenchman.

Lionel Messi will lead the team out once again and will hopefully maintain his rich vein of goalscoring form. The captain drew a blank last time out at the Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán but has six in his last four games and usually enjoys himself against Sevilla.

Possible XI: Ter Stegen; Dest, Pique, Lenglet, Alba; De Jong, Pedri; Trincao, Messi, Dembele; Braithwaite.

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