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How will Barcelona line up against Rayo Vallecano?

The Catalans are yet to win away in La Liga this season

FC Barcelona v Real Madrid - La Liga Santander Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images

Barcelona head to Rayo Vallecano on Wednesday aiming to bounce back from a disappointing Clasico defeat to Real Madrid at the weekend.

Ronald Koeman has some injuries to deal with for the match and faces a Rayo side who have won all four home games in La Liga so far in 2021-22.

Barca haven’t managed an away win yet in La Liga and the pressure on Koeman will be really on if the Catalans drop points again.

Let’s look at how they might line-up:


FC Barcelona v Real Madrid CF - La Liga Santander Photo by Berengui/DeFodi Images via Getty Images

Koeman may not make too many changes in defense with Gerard Pique and Eric Garcia likely to continue at the heart of the backline. Ronald Araujo is still not back in training after suffering a hamstring injury.

The big question may be where Sergino Dest plays on Wednesday. The USMNT star has played in a more advanced position in recent games but switched back to right-back at half-time of El Clascio and may start there on Wednesday.


FC Barcelona v Real Madrid CF - La Liga Santander Photo by Eric Alonso/Getty Images

Koeman’s midfield selection should be pretty interesting with Pedri and Frenkie de Jong out injured for this one. That should mean Riqui Puig gets his first start of the season but is more likely to mean Sergi Roberto will play instead.

Sergio Busquets and Gavi could continue in the starting XI once again, although Nico Gonzalez will be hoping for some minutes and Philippe Coutinho is also an option for Koeman.


FC Barcelona v Real Madrid CF - La Liga Santander Photo by Berengui/DeFodi Images via Getty Images

The Barcelona boss also has some big decisions to make in attack after Ansu Fati reportedly finished El Clasico with some discomfort but did train with the team as normal on Tuesday morning.

It’s not clear yet if Sergio Aguero is ready to start after returning from injury. The Argentine has now made three substitute appearances and grabbed his first Barcelona goal against Real Madrid.

Memphis Depay is likely to continue in the starting XI, while Ousmane Dembele is close to a return after returning to group training but may have to wait until Alaves visit at the weekend. Yusuf Demir appears to have dropped out of contention completely.

Possible XI: Ter Stegen; Dest, Pique, Eric, Alba; Busquets, Roberto, Gavi; Memphis, Aguero, Ansu.

How do you think Barcelona will line up against Rayo? Let us know your thoughts, predictions and teams in the comments below!

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