Barcelona will be without the suspended Clement Lenglet, but will have Gerard Pique back when they face Getafe at Camp Nou this weekend.
Barcelona will be looking to close the gap to the top of the La Liga table when they face off against third-placed Getafe at Camp Nou on Saturday afternoon. And manager Quique Setien will have to make do without defender Clement Lenglet, who is suspended after being sent off in the last game aganst Real Betis.
However, Barcelona will have Gerard Pique back after serving his own suspension and the former Spanish international is expected to walk right back into the starting XI, in place of Lenglet. Partnering him at the heart of the Barcelona defence ought to be Samuel Umtiti, while Marc-Andre ter Stegen continues between the sticks.
Nelson Semedo was a doubt heading into the game due to tonsillitis, but has recovered in time and been named in the 18-man matchday squad by Setien. The Portuguese should slot in as the right-back, while Jordi Alba is in line to return at left-back in place of Junior Firpo, who failed to make much of an impression in the last game.
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Setien used a diamond formation in midfield against Betis last time out and is likely to stick with a similar setup when Getafe come visiting. Sergio Busquets is a guaranteed starter at the base of the midfield, having enjoyed a resurgence under the new manager. Frenkie de Jong, who scored in the last game, is another certain starter for Barcelona.
There is likely to be one change in the middle though, with Arthur Melo likely to get the nod ahead of Sergi Roberto, who did not have the best of games against Real Betis. At the tip of the diamond formation, Arturo Vidal is expected to continue, with the Chilean acting as the link between midfield and attack.
Up ahead in attack, Barcelona continue to be without the services of Luis Suarez and Ousmane Dembele. This has left Setien with just three attacking options in the form of captain Lionel Messi, Antoine Griezmann and Ansu Fati.
Setien was asked about the possibility of resting Messi in his pre-match presser with the Champions League clash against Napoli on the horizon. The manager replied (h/t Barca Blaugranes), “Messi is just like a lot of other players and knows what he can do and what he can’t do. If he’s on the pitch it’s because he’s able to be. If he’s OK then there’s no problem.”
“Like any other player there will be a time when he have to rest him, but I haven’t spent so much time here for us to be able to evaluate this because these players are so used to playing Sunday to Wednesday, Sunday to Wednesday for many years. It’s something we’ll have a look at as it goes on.”
The lack of options at Setien’s disposal means there is little room for rotation against Getafe. Hence, Messi ought to start again on Saturday along with Griezmann in the final third.
Barcelona Predicted XI: ter Stegen; Semedo, Pique, Umtiti, Alba; Busquets; Arthur, de Jong; Vidal; Messi, Griezmann