Reigning La Liga champions Barcelona will welcome Sevilla to Camp Nou on Saturday night in what will be a top-of-the-table clash.
Barcelona will be aiming to jump to pole position in La Liga, when they face off against Sevilla at Camp Nou this weekend.
The Catalans, having starting the defence of their league title strongly, have faltered in recent weeks. The Blaugrana haven’t picked up a victory in their previous four La Liga matches. With just a point separating them from their opponents on Saturday, manager Ernesto Valverde will be hoping to lead his team to a victory and retake top spot in the league.
German goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen is a guaranteed starter under the woodwork for the Catalans for the all-important encounter.
Sergi Roberto is fit again, after missing out Barca’s 1-1 draw against Valencia before the international break, and should be making his way back into the lineup at right-back, having been included in the matchday squad by the manager. Jordi Alba will man the left side of the defence for the home team on Saturday.
Gerard Pique should start at the heart of the backline, although he will be without his regular partner Samuel Umtiti. The Frenchman has been sidelined with a knee injury since the end of last month, but Valverde indicated that his treatment was progressing well.
Speaking of the World Cup winner, the manager said in his pre-match press conference, “He is following treatment to strengthen his muscles. We hope he will be back soon with us because there are important games coming up.”
With Thomas Vermaelen also ruled out due to a hamstring injury he picked up on international duty with Belgium, summer signing Clement Lenglet should feature from the get-go against the Andalusian outfit on Saturday night.
Sergio Busquets is an integral part of this Barcelona side and is a definite starter as the defensive anchor in the middle of the park. Support will be provided by Croatian international Ivan Rakitic, while summer signing Arthur Melo should also get the nod, after a recent run of impressive performances.
This would mean that Arturo Vidal, who is reportedly growing frustrated at the lack of opportunities, will miss out. Another summer arrival, who has grown restless with the short supply of game time, Malcom has been dropped from the matchday squad altogether by the manager.
Club captain Lionel Messi enjoys playing against Sevilla, against whom he has scored the most number of goals in his career (31 in 34 matches). He will look to inspire his team to a victory, starting out on the right flank.
Ousmane Dembele scored against Sevilla in the Spanish Super Cup final at the beginning of the season, but is likely to be left out in favour of Philippe Coutinho on the left side. Luis Suarez was not involved in the international break for Uruguay due to an injury, but is fit again and should lead the line for the Catalans on Saturday.