Arturo Vidal is set to miss out for Barcelona while Samuel Umtiti is likely to return when they face off against Levante at Camp Nou this weekend.
Barcelona will be looking to close the gap to La Liga leaders Real Madrid when they play hosts to Levante at Camp Nou on Sunday night. Following Real Madrid’s 1-0 win over Atletico Madrid on Saturday afternoon, the Catalans are six points behind their arch rivals and will be intent on keeping pace with a win.
There are likely to be minimal changes to the Barcelona lineup that featured in the Copa del Rey win against Leganes in midweek, following a commanding performance. In goal, there is no looking past the brilliant Marc-Andre ter Stegen, while Nelson Semedo should start ahead of Sergi Roberto at right-back after his impressive display.
— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) February 1, 2020
Gerard Pique is a guaranteed starter at the heart of the Barcelona defence. But, there could be a change in partners for the former Spanish international with Samuel Umtiti likely to come in for Clement Lenglet, despite his starring performance against Leganes. Jordi Alba is a certainty at left-back for Barcelona.
Sergio Busquets has been playing at a level close to his best since Quique Setien took over the reins at the club. The Spaniard is an obvious choice as the deepest of the three midfielders for Barcelona. Marquee summer signing Frenkie de Jong is another player who is certain to start, although the Dutchman needs to find his best form.
But, there will be an enforced change in midfield as Arturo Vidal is likely to miss out after he missed training on the eve of the game. Speaking of the Chilean, Setien said in his presser (h/t Barca Blaugranes), “It is not serious. There is a bruise and let’s see how it evolves. I am not in favour of taking risks with players because there are many games and we do not have a very large squad.”
With Vidal ruled out, Arthur Melo, who scored against Leganes after coming on as a substitute, is likely to feature from the kick-off.
In attack, Barcelona continue to be without Luis Suarez while Ousmane Dembele is back in training, but is still not ready for a return. Speaking of the injury-plagued Frenchman, manager Setien said, “It would be premature for Dembele to play [against Levante]. We will see for the following matches, but we will not accelerate his return.”
With Dembele still not ready and Carles Perez having left the club, there are limited options for Setien in attack, which means there is unlikely to be any rotation. Barcelona captain Lionel Messi ought to take up the right flank, while teenage sensation Ansu Fati will slot in on the opposite side, with Antoine Griezmann spearheading the attack.
Barcelona Predicted XI: ter Stegen; Semedo, Pique, Umtiti, Alba; de Jong, Busquets, Arthur; Messi, Griezmann, Fati