Lionel Messi will be unavailable for selection when Barcelona lock horns with Getafe at the Coliseum Alfonso Perez on Saturday evening.
Barcelona will be hoping to start building a winning momentum when they travel to the Spanish capital to take on Getafe at the Coliseum Alfonso Perez on Saturday. But, manager Ernesto Valverde has been beset by another major injury concern to club captain Lionel Messi ahead of this weekend’s clash.
There are no issues whatsoever in the goalkeeping department, however, with both Marc-Andre ter Stegen and Neto at the disposal of the Barcelona manager. Neto, though, will continue to provide backup to ter Stegen, who should start in goal against Getafe.
The selection in the back four has been partly influenced by the injury list, with Samuel Umtiti and Jordi Alba both out injured. In Alba’s absence, summer signing Junior Firpo will get another chance to impress, while Clement Lenglet has cemented his place alongside Gerard Pique at the heart of the Barcelona defence due to Umtiti’s travails. Nelson Semedo will complete the backline.
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Up ahead in midfield, Valverde has all his resources available to him and has picked the lot in his travelling squad for the trip to face Getafe. The Barcelona boss, though, is expected to make only one change in the middle of the park, with Frenkie de Jong replacing Sergi Roberto.
Dutchman de Jong will have Sergio Busquets and Arthur for company in the three-man midfield, meaning Roberto, Ivan Rakitic, Arturo Vidal and Carles Alena will provide backup option. The big news this week, meanwhile, has surrounded Barcelona captain Lionel Messi, who picked up a groin injury in the 2-1 win over Villarreal on Tuesday.
Having only recently recovered from a calf complaint, the latest setback will rule Messi out for the foreseeable future including for the game against Getafe, and Valverde did not put a time stamp on Messi’s return during his pre-match press conference (h/t Barca Blaugranes).
“I don’t know how long he’s going to be out. Hopefully he will be back with the team soon. In principle it’s not a serious injury so let’s wait and see how he looks today and going into next week.”
Another key player who has joined Messi on the sidelines is Ansu Fati, who is sidelined with a knee injury. With both Fati and Messi out injured, it is likely that Ousmane Dembele will be recalled to the starting lineup for the first time since the opening game of the season.
Dembele will join first-choice attacking duo Luis Suarez and Antoine Griezmann in attack, with Carles Perez, fresh off signing a new deal with Barcelona, the only viable backup option on the bench.
Predicted Barcelona Starting XI: ter Stegen; Semedo, Pique, Lenglet, Junior Firpo; de Jong, Busquets, Arthur; Griezmann, Suarez, Dembele