Clement Lenglet is set to come in for Oscar Mingueza when Barcelona welcome Valencia to Camp Nou on Saturday.
Barcelona will be eager to continue their recent charge up the La Liga table when they play hosts to Valencia at Camp Nou on Saturday evening. And, Ronald Koeman does not have any fresh injury concerns to contend with ahead of his side’s latest fixture.
The Barcelona boss would have been sweating over the fitness of Oscar Mingueza after he hobbled off the pitch late in the game against Real Sociedad with a knock. However, the young defender is fit, available and included in the matchday squad to take on Valencia. That means Gerard Pique, Sergi Roberto, Ansu Fati and Ousmane Dembele remain the only absentees for Barcelona.
Despite being available, Mingueza should make way for Clement Lenglet, who was given a breather last time out. Lenglet will have Ronald Araujo as his partner at the heart of the Barcelona defence. The young Uruguayan defender was one of the subjects Koeman was quizzed on during his pre-match press conference (h/t Barca Universal).
“Araujo is strong and quite fast. He has a strong character, he commands and trains hard every day. In some things, such as his first touch, circulating the ball, vertical passes, etc., he has to improve. But Araujo is a young player who already occupies an important place, and he told me that he wants to improve and that is very important.”
Araujo and Lenglet should be flanked by Sergino Dest and Jordi Alba, with Marc-Andre ter Stegen taking his place in goal. Barcelona will line up in a 4-2-3-1 formation yet again, but as has been the case lately, it will morph into a 4-3-3 during transitions, with Sergio Busquets sitting at the base.
Frenkie de Jong will be stationed in the double pivot on paper but will act more like a no. 8 along with the impressive Pedri. As a result, the likes of Miralem Pjanic, Philippe Coutinho, Carles Alena and Riqui Puig all miss out again and will be options off the bench.
Finally, in attack, Lionel Messi will always be a certainty unless there is a need to rest him. The Barcelona captain will once again be joined by Antoine Griezmann and Martin Braithwaite, both of whom will be eager to make amends after being left frustrated against Real Sociedad this week.
Barcelona Predicted XI: ter Stegen; Dest, Araujo, Lenglet, Alba; Busquets, de Jong; Griezmann, Pedri, Braithwaite; Messi