Sergio Busquets returns from suspension and is expected to get the nod ahead of Ivan Rakitic as Barcelona get ready to host Atletico Madrid at Camp Nou.
Barcelona will hope to put some pressure on Real Madrid when they play hosts to Atletico Madrid at Camp Nou on Tuesday. A win against the capital outfit would mean they go a point clear of the Los Blancos, even if it means they do so temporarily. Quique Setien is expected to make some changes from the game against Celta Vigo, that saw a couple of key players miss out.
The Spanish manager has been subject to several rumours since the game at Celta which suggested that he has lost the dressing room, and could be sacked this week itself. He addressed this among other things in his pre-match press conference, speaking about how this is all outside noise. Setien also spoke about Arthur Melo and if he would be available for the remaining fixtures.
“I say the same thing I told him the other day. We have no doubt over his commitment to the final day he’s here. He’s still a Barcelona player until the final game ends this season. He’s personally committed and dedicated to achieving our objectives. I have no doubts about him and neither do his team-mates.”
— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) June 29, 2020
Ivan Rakitic started and played all 90 minutes against Celta and could be dropped to the bench, with Sergio Busquets taking his position after returning from suspension. He is expected to be flanked by Arturo Vidal on the right and Arthur on the left. Riqui Puig participated in both games last week and could be benched to avoid fatigue.
Gerard Pique will marshal the defence, partnering alongside Clement Lenglet, who will return to the lineup after being rested last week. Pique will be glad to start alongside Lenglet again after having to do everything on his own against Celta.
Sergi Roberto returned to group training yesterday, but will start on the bench as Nelson Semedo and Jordi Alba are expected to retain their spots on the right and left sides, respectively. This back four will screen the brilliant Marc-Andre ter Stegen, who will hold the fort in the Barcelona box. Meanwhile, Setien also spoke about which player could start in attack.
“In terms of the lineups and the players. Only 11 can play. You are always asking me why Riqui and Ansu aren’t playing. They aren’t playing because I can only field 11. If I can put out more then great. It depends on the game, how the players are feeling, what I see in training. Everyone has a chance.”
In attack, we will see Lionel Messi start his sixth consecutive game since football resumed, aided by Luis Suarez, who will play in the no. 9 role. Antoine Griezmann will likely start on the left wing against his former team, with Martin Braithwaite and Ansu Fati being backup options on the bench.
Barcelona Predicted XI: ter Stegen; Semedo, Pique, Lenglet, Alba; Vidal, Busquets, Arthur; Messi, Suarez, Griezmann