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How should Barcelona line up against Real Betis?

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The champions have some key players out

Cultural Leonesa v FC Barcelona - Spanish Copa del Rey Photo by Octavio Passos/Getty Images

Barcelona play their last La Liga fixture before the final international break of 2018 on Sunday when Real Betis are the visitors to the Camp Nou.

Ernesto Valverde’s side head into the weekend top of the table by three points from Espanyol and will want to maintain that advantage.

They will have to make do without some big stars. Philippe Coutinho has been ruled out through injury, while Samuel Umtiti and Lionel Messi have been back training but aren’t cleared to play yet.

With that in mind let’s have a look at how they might line up:

Defence

FC Internazionale v FC Barcelona - UEFA Champions League Group B Photo by Emilio Andreoli/Getty Images

Marc-Andre ter Stegen has been left out of the Germany squad due to a shoulder problem, he should play but if not it’ll be Jasper Cillessen between the sticks.

Reports on Friday suggested Samuel Umtiti is nearing a return to full fitness, but there seems no real reason to risk him against Real Betis.

Clement Lenglet should therefore continue alongside Gerard Pique, with Nelson Semedo potentially replacing Sergi Roberto at right-back and Jordi Alba on the left.

Midfield

FC Barcelona v Athletic Club - La Liga Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images

Ernesto Valverde could make changes in midfield with both Sergio Busquets and Ivan Rakitic in need of a rest after a tough schedule.

Arturo Vidal looks the most likely player to come in if he does make a change. The Chilean said after the draw with Inter he now feels “100 per cent and full of confidence” following his summer move from Bayern Munich.

Attack

Rayo Vallecano de Madrid v FC Barcelona - La Liga Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images

This is where it gets really interesting. Coutinho is definitely out, Messi is a big doubt, and Ousmane Dembele was suffering with gastroenteritis in midweek. Meanwhile, Malcom came on and scored his first Barca goal against Inter on Tuesday, and Rafinha will also be in the reckoning.

The only definite starter in attack appears to be Luis Suarez. The Uruguayan was frustrated in midweek against Inter but has scored five goals in his last two La Liga outings for Barcleona.

Possible XI: Ter Stegen; Semedo, Pique, Lenglet, Alba; Rakitic, Busquets, Arthur; Malcom, Suarez, Dembele.

How do you think Barcelona should line up against Real Betis? Let us know your thoughts, predictions and line-ups in the comments below!