Arthur could return to the starting lineup while Antoine Griezmann will come in for Luis Suarez when Barcelona face Athletic Bilbao on Tuesday.
Barcelona will be hoping to get back to winning ways and reclaim top spot on the La Liga table when they play hosts to Athletic Bilbao at Camp Nou on Tuesday night. And, Quique Setien does not have any fresh injury concerns to contend with ahead of his side’s latest fixture.
Sergi Roberto, Frenkie de Jong and Ousmane Dembele remain sidelined with their respective fitness issues. But, Barcelona have Samuel Umtiti available after he served his suspension last time out against Sevilla. The French defender has been included in the matchday squad by Setien.
— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) June 22, 2020
The Barcelona manager was asked about Umtiti and whether he will start, during his pre-match press conference (h/t Barca Blaugranes) and he was coy in his reply.
“If we decide he has to play, he’ll play. It’s a position I have to take, what each player offers. You have to remember Umtiti was injured for a while and hasn’t been at the level of fitness of the rest. He will have his chance to play just like anyone else.”
Umtiti, though, is unlikely to start, with Clement Lenglet and Gerard Pique pairing up at the heart of the Barcelona defence. With Roberto still unavailable, Nelson Semedo remains a certain starter on the right flank, with Jordi Alba an automatic pick on the left. Marc-Andre ter Stegen will guard the goal as usual.
Up ahead in midfield, Setien should recall Arthur to his side when the La Liga champions take on Athletic Bilbao, seeing as his side was lacking ideas in the middle of the park against Sevilla. Meanwhile, the Barcelona boss also spoke about de Jong and the timeline on his return.
“We hope that’s not the case. He has a small injury to his calf but the forecast depends a little on how the injury develops. We’re sure he will play a game or a few games.”
Arthur should come into the side in place of Ivan Rakitic, who has started each of the last two games. Arturo Vidal and Sergio Busquets will be the Brazilian’s partners in the middle of the park. In attack, there could be a couple of changes, with Luis Suarez expected to drop to the bench as he continues to build his fitness after returning from a long-term injury.
Suarez should make way for Antoine Griezmann, while Martin Braithwaite should also drop out, with Ansu Fati starting in his stead. Fati’s inclusion in the side should mean Griezmann leads the line for Barcelona against Bilbao, with captain Lionel Messi being the third man in attack, even though he seems to be in need of some rest.
Barcelona Predicted XI: ter Stegen; Semedo, Pique, Lenglet, Alba; Vidal, Busquets, Arthur; Messi, Griezmann, Fati