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How will Barcelona line up against Athletic Bilbao?

The champions have injury concerns

FC Barcelona v Real Madrid - Copa del Rey Semi Final Photo by Alex Caparros/Getty Images

Barcelona are back in action on Sunday at San Mames as they take on Athletic Bilbao in La Liga.

The visitors will be without Jordi Alba due to suspension, Arthur due to injury and also have fitness concerns over Lionel Messi and Ousmane Dembele.

With that in mind let’s have a look at who might feature in this one:


PSV v FC Barcelona - UEFA Champions League Group B Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

Ernesto Valverde’s biggest decision in defence is who to bring in to replace Jordi Alba. The Barca boss has used Nelson Semedo and Sergi Roberto at left-back this season, Thomas Vermaelen can also play as a full-back and Juan Miranda is another option.

Valverde will also need to give Gerard Pique a rest at some point. The centre-back has played every single minute in La Liga so far this season but has been in great form recently and may get the nod again.


Sevilla v FC Barcelona - Copa del Rey Quarter Final Photo by Aitor Alcalde/Getty Images

Arthur is out for a month which is a blow and means that Arturo Vidal and Carles Alena are likely to see some game time.

Ivan Rakitic put in a pretty tired display against Real Madrid in midweek and could be rested which means Sergio Busquets should continue.

Sergi Samper, Riqui Puig and even Philippe Coutinho are also options to come into midfield if Valverde wants to shuffle his pack.


FC Barcelona v Real Madrid - Copa del Rey Semi Final Photo by Angel Martinez/Getty Images

Ousmane Dembele and Lionel Messi are both injury doubts for this one which suggests Luis Suarez may start in attack once again.

Kevin-Prince Boateng is an option if Suarez needs a rest, while Malcom will also be pushing hard for a start after a lively showing against Madrid.

Possible XI: Ter Stegen; Roberto, Pique, Vermaelen, Semedo; Vidal, Busquets, Alena; Dembele, Suarez, Coutinho.

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

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