Gerard Pique is fit to start while Arturo Vidal will come in for the injured Arthur when Barcelona host RCD Mallorca at Camp Nou on Saturday.
Barcelona will be hoping to continue keeping Real Madrid at bay atop the La Liga table when they welcome RCD Mallorca to Camp Nou on Saturday. And, Ernesto Valverde has greeted a mixed bag of team news ahead of his side’s latest fixture.
There are no concerns whatsoever in the goalkeeping department, with Marc-Andre ter Stegen fit and available. The German goalkeeper is expected to retain his place in the side, with Neto being his backup on the bench.
Defence posed a fair few problems heading into this weekend’s clash with Mallorca. Gerard Pique had been struggling with a knee injury he sustained in the narrow win over Atletico Madrid last weekend. Pique, though, has been passed fit after shrugging off the minor complaint and has been included in Barcelona’s squad for the game.
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Pique’s fitness was one of the subjects discussed in Valverde’s pre-match press conference (h/t Barca Blaugranes). The Barcelona boss provided a brief clarification of Pique’s status while also giving an update on the injured defensive duo Nelson Semedo and Jordi Alba.
“It was just a knock. He [Pique] is fine. Jordi Alba hasn’t been able to train with the group. It depends on whether they [Alba and Semedo] take part in training today. We’re not going to risk anything.”
Pique should keep hold of his place in the starting lineup, with Clement Lenglet expected to be his partner at the heart of the Barcelona defence. With Alba and Semedo still sidelined, Sergi Roberto and Junior Firpo pick themselves as the full-back pairing.
Up ahead in midfield, Arthur is a fresh injury concern for Barcelona. The Brazilian midfielder had picked up a groin injury and will play no part against Mallorca. In Arthur’s stead, Arturo Vidal is expected to come into the starting lineup.
Sergio Busquets is available again after serving a one-match ban last time out and the Spaniard will walk back into the starting lineup, replacing Ivan Rakitic. Frenkie de Jong, meanwhile, picks himself in the three-man midfield.
The attacking department is missing two key players, with Ousmane Dembele (hamstring) and Ansu Fati (knee) sidelined. In such a scenario, there is no looking past Antoine Griezmann, Luis Suarez and Barcelona captain Lionel Messi to man the three-pronged attack, with Carles Perez providing a backup option on the bench.
Predicted Barcelona XI: ter Stegen; Roberto, Pique, Lenglet, Firpo; de Jong, Busquets, Vidal; Messi, Suarez, Griezmann