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How will Barcelona line up against Almería?

Barça play their final home game before the World Cup break

FC Barcelona v Villarreal CF - LaLiga Santander Photo by Eric Alonso/Getty Images

Having wrapped up their Champions League journey with a win in midweek, Barcelona play their final home game of 2022 as they welcome Almería to the Spotify Camp Nou for some La Liga action on Saturday night.

This is Barça’s penultimate match before the break for the World Cup, and the last in front of the home crowd. The Blaugrana trail Real Madrid by just one point and will go top of the league table for a couple of days with a win or a draw against an Almería side that’s been very inconsistent in their first season back in Spain’s top division.

But this will be a very special night for another reason: Gerard Piqué announced his retirement on Thursday and will play his final game at Camp Nou, and the legend is expected to start and captain the side in this one. Here’s how we think the rest of the team will line up on Saturday.


FC Barcelona v FC Bayern München: Group C - UEFA Champions League Photo by Eric Alonso/Getty Images

Despite his recent form and lack of playing time this season, Piqué has more than earned the right to start the final two games before his retirement. Geri will lead the backline, probably alongside Jules Kounde who was rested against Viktoria Plzen and will be fit enough to play this one.

Alejandro Balde has been playing right-back a lot in recent weeks, and with Héctor Bellerín unable to find a consistent run of form it is likely that we see Balde in that makeshift role again, in which case Jordi Alba would probably return to the side at left-back.


FC Barcelona v FC Bayern München: Group C - UEFA Champions League Photo by Jose Breton/Pics Action/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Frenkie De Jong, Sergio Busquets and Pedri were all left out of the game against Plzen, and it’s pretty easy to guess that they will be the starting midfield trio on Saturday. These sorts of home games against weaker sides aren’t a problem for Busquets, so it makes sense to have Sergio in the side for this one.

Franck Kessie will miss the rest of the year with a hamstring injury, but Gavi looked healthy and sharp against Plzen after his injury scare last week and Pablo Torre is also ready to contribute after his strong performance in his first start, so the midfield depth isn’t too big of an issue ahead of the final two games before the break.


FC Barcelona v FC Bayern München: Group C - UEFA Champions League Photo by Aitor Alcalde/Getty Images

Robert Lewandowski was rested for the first time this season against Plzen, a good decision from Xavi Hernández to keep his best player as fit and sharp as possible in this long season. Lewandowski has been incredible in the league so far, and will be looking forward to facing one of the worst defenses in the division this weekend.

Ousmane Dembélé will return to the starting lineup after spending 80 mintues on the bench against Plzen, and the doubt as always is about the third member of the attack. Ansu Fati couldn’t grab his opportunity with both hands in midweek, and both Ferran Torres and Raphinha played very well to earn an opportunity in this one.

Either one would be a good choice this Saturday, but Ferran is coming off a double against Plzen and is more of a scoring threat which will be helpful against an Almería side that will no doubt play very defensively at Camp Nou.

Possible XI: Ter Stegen; Balde, Kounde, Piqué, Alba; De Jong, Busquets, Pedri; Dembélé, Lewandowski, Ferran (4-3-3)

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

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