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How will Barcelona line up against Sevilla?

Barça start the home stretch with a huge La Liga game

Europa League round of 16”Galatasaray AS v FC Barcelona” Photo by ANP via Getty Images

The last international break of the season is finally over, and Barcelona are back for the home stretch of the season with a possible 15 games remaining as they continue to fight in two fronts.

The Europa League quarterfinals against Eintracht Frankfurt start on Thursday, but four days before that Barça face a huge La Liga clash against second-place Sevilla at Camp Nou on Sunday night.

Barça will overtake their opponents and finish the weekend in second with a game in hand if they can get all three points, but it won’t be easy against a Sevilla side that has been very consistent all season. Let’s see how Barça could line up on Sunday.


Defense

Real Madrid CF v FC Barcelona - La Liga Santander Photo by Angel Martinez/Getty Images

There is zero question about whether or not Xavi Hernández will rotate his squad on Sunday. The answer is a resounding no, because La Liga remains the priority and Sevilla represent perhaps the last true big hurdle left in Barça’s schedule. A win on Sunday is vital to go second and keep their small title hopes alive, so Xavi will pick his best team.

With Sergiño Dest still sidelined with a hamstring injury, there is little doubt over the backline. The only question is who starts alongside Gerard Piqué in the middle: if it’s Eric García, who has been playing well lately, then the spotlight shifts to right-back with both Dani Alves and Ronald Araujo available for that spot. If Araujo moves back to the center, then it’s Alves on the right with Jordi Alba at left-back.

Midfield

Real Madrid CF v FC Barcelona - La Liga Santander Photo by Diego Souto/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

Sergio Busquets got the full two weeks off during the international break, a much needed rest for the captain who has been playing a whole lot of minutes for club and country all season. He has been criticized for much of the season, and a lot of times with good reason, but there’s no debate about the quality and consistency of his performances for the last month or so.

Busquets might get the rest on Thursday but he starts here, with Frenkie De Jong and Pedri the favorites to play ahead of the captain in the middle of the park. Gavi is always knocking on the door of the starting lineup with good reason, but a place on the bench this weekend seems more likely for the youngster.

Attack

FC Barcelona v CA Osasuna - La Liga Santander Photo by Alex Caparros/Getty Images

Barça’s attack was breathtaking in El Clásico two weeks ago, and all three forwards played excellent football. Ousmane Dembélé, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Ferran Torres are at the top of their games right now, and should be favorites to retain their places against a brilliant Sevilla defense.

Adama Traoré has slowly faded to the background a bit in recent games, mostly thanks to Dembélé’s insane form, but the Catalan could see himself in the lineup this Sunday if Xavi decides to be a bit cautious with Dembélé. Memphis Depay and Luuk De Jong are not real threats to start right now, and Ansu Fati is back in training but nowhere near ready to play yet.


Possible XI: Ter Stegen; Alves, Araujo, Piqué, Alba; F. De Jong, Busquets, Pedri; Dembélé, Aubameyang, Ferran (4-3-3)


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