Ernesto Valverde could shuffle his side a bit when Barcelona travel to Estadio Municipal de Butarque to take on CD Leganes on Wednesday night.
Barcelona will be aiming to return to winning ways when they travel to the Spanish capital to face off against CD Leganes at Estadio Municipal de Butarque on Wednesday. And, Ernesto Valverde will be buoyed by the fact that the Blaugrana now boast a clean bill of health.
Sergi Samper has returned to training after recovering from a long-term ankle injury, although the match has come too soon for him. The only player missing for Barcelona is Clement Lenglet, who will serve the first of his two-match ban when Valverde & co. lock horns with Leganes.
1. Ter Stegen
2. N. Semedo
4. I. Rakitic
11. O. Dembélé
18. Jordi Alba
20. S. Roberto
— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) September 26, 2018
But, the big news is that Malcom has been given the all clear to return to action, having completely recovered from an ankle injury. With a near-full strength squad at his disposal, Valverde should ideally have an easier time rotating his squad in what is a busy schedule for Barcelona.
Valverde though, did not exactly allude towards ringing in the changes when Barcelona pay Leganes a visit, during his pre-match press conference. But, the manager did iterate that he has a squad that is good enough to take on the workload of playing twice a week.
“If you’re talking about specific names of players who may play, our approach is going to be similar. We have the team and the players to be able to deal with moments like these in the schedule, where there are so many games bunched together. It’s true that we have three tough games in six days. We’ve played one already, and now we are going for the other two.”
There are unlikely to be any major changes on either end of the pitch, with Marc-Andre ter Stegen, Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez expected to start. The midfield and defence though, should see the Barcelona boss make a few shuffles, with one change being forced upon him due to Lenglet’s suspension.
In Lenglet’s stead, Samuel Umtiti should return to the heart of the Barcelona defence, with Gerard Pique being his partner. Jordi Alba and Sergi Roberto should be the full-backs, with the latter replacing Nelson Semedo, who has failed to impress thus far this season.
In midfield, Sergio Busquets could be rested, with Denis Suarez taking his place. Joining him in the middle of the park, should be Ivan Rakitic and Philippe Coutinho, with Arturo Vidal and Arthur being named as substitutes.
The final spot in the side should be taken up by Malcom, who will finally make his full debut for Barcelona. The Brazilian winger should replace Ousmane Dembele, who looked in need of a rest this past weekend. With Malcom starting on the right, Valverde could end up shuffling his system and reverting to a 4-4-2