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How should Barcelona line up against Alaves?

Might we see Coutinho from the off?

Barcelona v Espanyol - Spanish Copa del Rey Photo by Alex Caparros/Getty Images

Barcelona are back in action on Sunday with Alaves the visitors to Camp Nou. Ernesto Valverde’s side will be expected to win and maintain their unbeaten start to the La Liga season.

The Barca boss also has plenty of selection dilemmas now the club’s injury problems are easing. Andres Iniesta, Philippe Coutinho and Paco Alcacer are all fit and in with a chance of starting, particularly with the club having been in action on Thursday.

Yet Barca are also back in Copa del Rey action in midweek with a tricky game against Valencia to negotiate.

Here’s a look at how they might line up...


Selecting the defence is probably Valvderde’s easiest task. Marc-Andre ter Stegen will return in goal and the only real question is who will feature at right-back between Nelson Semedo and Sergi Roberto. Roberto seems to be the favourite at the moment and could well line up alongside Gerard Pique, Samuel Umtiti and Jordi Alba.

Barcelona v Espanyol - Spanish Copa del Rey Photo by Manuel Queimadelos Alonso/Getty Images


We were given a little glimpse of Philippe Coutinho in midweek and I think it’s fair to say it left us wanting more. Barcelona have spent an awful lot of money and time in bringing in the Brazilian, so let’s hope he gets his full debut on Sunday.

Valverde could look to rotate a little, but it seems more likely he might make changes on Thursday, so Ivan Rakitic, Paulinho and Sergio Busquets could complete the midfield.

Of course, the return to fitness of Iniesta and Coutinho means both could feature with Barca switching back to a 4-3-3, but we’ll have to wait and see if Valverde goes for that.

Barcelona v Espanyol - Spanish Copa del Rey Photo by Alex Caparros/Getty Images


Paco Alcacer is fit again but with Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi both in simply brilliant form, he may well face a wait before he returns to first-team action.

Suarez has 11 goals and three assists in his last nine outings, while Messi seems to be dribbling through entire teams for fun at the moment.

Expect the duo to start on Sunday and expect Barcelona to score. The Blaugrana have not failed to score at home since April 2017 - some nine months ago.

2018 Copa del Rey Football Quarter Final Second Leg Jan 25th Photo by Eric Alonso/Action Plus via Getty Images

Possible starting XI: Ter Stegen; Roberto, Pique, Umtiti, Alba; Rakitic, Busquets, Paulinho, Coutinho; Messi, Suarez.

How do you think Barca should line up on Sunday? Let us know your thoughts and lineups in the comments below!

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