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How should Barcelona line up against Espanyol?

FC Barcelona v Valencia CF - Spanish Copa del Rey Photo by Maria Jose Segovia/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Barcelona head to Espanyol on Sunday aiming to maintain their unbeaten record on a ground where they were beaten in the Copa del Rey just a few short weeks ago.

Having played Valencia on Thursday, Ernesto Valverde has said he will make changes for the derby, so let’s have a look at who could start on Sunday.


Marc-Andre ter Stegen will return in goal and we could see Nelson Semedo take over from Sergi Roberto at right-back.

Yerry Mina is still waiting to make his debut and it’s possible Ernesto Valverde could throw him in but it’s more likely he will go safety first and select Gerard Pique and Samuel Umtiti at centre-back.

At left-back Jordi Alba could be rested for Lucas Digne although Valverde did try that last weekend and ended up bringing the Spain international on in the second half.

Barcelona v Deportivo Alaves - La Liga Photo by Quality Sport Images/Getty Images


Andres Iniesta has started the last two games which means Philippe Coutinho may come back into the starting line-up for this one.

He could also be joined by Paulinho who started the midweek win over Valencia on the bench with Ivan Rakitic and Sergio Busquets the other likely starters.

Andre Gomes has been out with illness, which reportedly saw him hospitalised in midweek, and although he’s been back in training it’s unclear just how fit he is.

Aleix Vidal and Sergi Roberto are also options but both started in midweek and may be given a breather.

FC Barcelona v Deportivo Alaves - La Liga Santander Photo by Laurens Lindhout/Soccrates/Getty Images


It’s not out of the question that Valverde could make changes up front particularly with Barcelona in the midst of a pretty hectic run of fixtures.

Paco Alcacer is back to full fitness and pushing for a start and he could well come in on Sunday with either Luis Suarez or Lionel Messi getting a rest.

Suarez is in simply irresistible goalscoring form right now making him difficult to take out of the team, while resting Messi would be another huge call.

Barcelona v Valencia - Copa Del Rey Photo by Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

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

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

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