Ernesto Valverde has just one player unavailable as Barcelona get set to face Deportivo La Coruna at the Riazor on Sunday.
Barcelona will be looking to clinch the La Liga title when they travel to the Galician country to take on Deportivo La Coruna at the Riazor on Sunday. With their title coronation just a point away, Ernesto Valverde & co. are understandably in a largely buoyant mood.
The Barcelona manager’s job has been made all the easier considering the fact that he will have just one player unavailable on Sunday. Sergi Roberto has missed the trip to the Riazor due to a one-match suspension after being sent off in the Blaugrana’s previous league game against Celta Vigo.
In the Spaniard’s absence, Nelson Semedo is likely to be deployed as the right-back, with the rest of the backline pretty much picking itself up, considering Valverde is likely to go with his full-strength lineup for much of the remainder of the campaign.
As a result, we should see the likes of Gerard Pique, Samuel Umtiti and Jordi Alba making the numbers in the back-four, with Marc-Andre ter Stegen starting in goal. Meanwhile, the mood in the Barcelona camp has been dampened a little in recent days, with Andres Iniesta announcing that he will be leaving the club at the end of the season.
Valverde, in his pre-match press conference, paid tribute to the Barcelona captain, who has enjoyed a stellar 16-year campaign at Camp Nou. The Barcelona manager iterated that it will be nigh on impossible to replace the Spain veteran, who has been a vital cog at the club for years.
“He is irreplaceable. He’s one of a kind and gives you things you can’t get from any other player. Losing a player of that level forces you to look for balance on the team. He deserves all the recognition he’s received.”
Iniesta is likely to be deployed in his usual role on the left side of midfield, with the likes of Ivan Rakitic, Sergio Busquets and Philippe Coutinho completing the midfield quartet. Up ahead in attack, the usual strike partnership of Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez should start once again, with the duo looking to continue their scoring runs.