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How will Barcelona line up against Malaga?

It’s top against bottom at Camp Nou on Saturday

Barcelona v Espanyol - La Liga Photo by Manuel Queimadelos Alonso/Getty Images

Top plays bottom in La Liga on Saturday as Malaga head to Barcelona, yet to pick up a win, and having conceded 14 goals eight games.

Yet Malaga have caused problems for Barca in the past, they took four points off the Blaugrana last season, winning at home and drawing at Camp Nou.

However, Ernesto Valverde’s men will surely be pleased that goalkeeper Carlos Kameni, who always seemed to save his best for Barca, is no longer with the club.

The game comes on the back of Barca’s Champions League win over Olympiacos, where they played with 10 men for over 45 minutes, so we can expect changes, but on the evidence of the season so far, maybe not too many.

Here’s how they could line up...


While we should see Jasper Cillessen in the Copa del Rey next week, we can expect Marc-Andre ter Stegen to continue in goal on Saturday.

Ahead of him there will surely be changes and having missed out in midweek Nelson Semedo could return at right-back.

Javier Mascherano may partner Samuel Umtiti at right-back while it’s unclear if Jordi Alba is fit, meaning Lucas Digne again on the other flank.

FC Barcelona v Olympiakos Piraeus - UEFA Champions League Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images


Here’s where it gets interesting and it’s difficult to second guess Valverde at the moment.

Despite Malaga’s poor form, he could play it safe and start Sergio Busquets with Ivan Rakitic returning after being left out of the starting line-up against Olympiacos.

Andre Gomes also seems to be in the coach’s thoughts at the moment, and we may well see him again, on the left.

FC Barcelona v Olympiakos Piraeus - UEFA Champions League Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images


Luis Suarez’s poor form continued against Olympiacos and there are reports in Spain floating about today that he took a knock against the Greek champions.

It’s possible he could therefore sit this one out, with Gerard Deulofeu and Denis Suarez given the nod alongside Lionel Messi.

Deulofeu came off at half-time following Pique’s red card, but deserves another start, while this looks a perfect opportunity for Denis to stake another claim.

FC Barcelona v Olympiakos Piraeus - UEFA Champions League Photo by Alex Caparros/Getty Images

Possible XI: Ter Stegen; Semedo, Mascherano, Umtiti, Digne; Rakitic, Busquets, Gomes; Deulofeu, Messi, Denis Suarez.

Who do you think should start against Malaga? Let us know your thoughts and line-ups in the comments below!

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