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How will Barcelona line up against Rayo Vallecano?

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The champions are back in La Liga action

FC Barcelona v Real Madrid CF - La Liga Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images

Barcelona head to Rayo Vallecano on Saturday in La Liga, as they aim to continue their fine recent form.

The team are still expected to be without Samuel Umtiti and Lionel Messi, despite their return to training this week, so let’s have a look at who could feature.

Defence

FC Barcelona v FC Internazionale - UEFA Champions League Group B Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images

The youngsters came in for Wednesday’s midweek Copa del Rey game, but the first-choice back four will be expected to return at Rayo.

Marc-Andre ter Stegen, Gerard Pique and Jordi Alba should all be fresh after being rested following the Clasico, while Clement Lenglet will be full of confidence after scoring his first Barcelona goal against Cultural Leonesa.

At right-back Sergi Roberto could come back into the team, as Nelson Semedo played the full 90 minutes against Cultural on Wednesday.

Midfield

FC Barcelona v Real Madrid CF - La Liga Photo by Alex Caparros/Getty Images

Arturo Vidal has been looking good recently and is in with a shout for a starting spot. He scored Barcelona’s fifth goal last weekend after coming on as a substitute.

He also shone in midweek, as did Carles Alena, and both midfielders are options, particularly as Ernesto Valverde may have one eye on Tuesday’s Champions League clash at Inter.

Ivan Rakitic and Sergio Busquets were rested in midweek, while Arthur was a late substitute for Malcom against Cultural.

Attack

Real Sociedad v FC Barcelona - La Liga Photo by Aitor Alcalde/Getty Images

The only question in attack seems to be who will fill in for Lionel Messi. Rafinha’s been doing the job so far, but it’s possible Valverde could change things up.

Ousmane Dembele is the most likely option to come in, and he’ll surely be relishing taking on a side which has conceded 20 goals in 10 La Liga games this season.

Probable Starting XI: Ter Stegen; Roberto, Pique, Lenglet, Alba; Arthur, Busquets, Rakitic; Dembele, Suarez, Coutinho.

How do you think Barcelona should line up against Rayo? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!