Oscar Mingueza is in line to replace the injured Sergi Roberto while Lionel Messi and Clement Lenglet should start when Barcelona face Real Betis in La Liga.
Barcelona will be aiming to continue their unbeaten run in the 2020/21 La Liga when they lock horns with Manuel Pellegrini’s Real Betis at Estadio Benito Villamarin on Sunday night.
Leading up into the game, Barcelona manager Ronald Koeman has been treated with another injury blow as Sergi Roberto, who had recently come back from a lengthy layoff, has been sidelined once again. He joins the likes of Gerard Pique, Ansu Fati and Philippe Coutinho out on the treatment tables.
Speaking of Roberto’s latest setback, Koeman, in his pre-match press conference (h/t Barca Blaugranes) said, “I think the first match against PSG yes we have to rule him out which is a big blow for us and the player. We asked him at half-time against Granada and he told me he was good and eight minutes later he injured himself. It’s a big blow.”
With Roberto out and Sergino Dest only returning recently, Koeman might opt to go in with Oscar Mingueza at right-back, protecting the USMNT international for the Copa del Rey semi-finals against Sevilla next week. Jordi Alba is a certain starter out on the left.
Marc-Andre ter Stegen is an ever-present in goal for the Catalans. Ronald Araujo has become a certainty at the heart of the Barcelona defence. The second centre-back slot will be a toss-up between two Frenchmen, Clement Lenglet and Samuel Umtiti.
With the latter being preferred in recent games, Koeman was quizzed over Lenglet’s situation, to which he replied, “He’s a very important player for us. We have a lot of competition in these positions after Umtiti returned. He’s been playing well. It’s good for us all that we have all our central defenders available.” Lenglet should be in line for a start against Real Betis.
With the game against Sevilla not far, Koeman might opt to rest veteran midfielder Sergio Busquets on Sunday, meaning Miralem Pjanic gets the nod at the base of the Barcelona midfield against Betis. Frenkie de Jong and Pedri, however, should hold on to their places, although Riqui Puig is also pushing for a start after an impressive cameo last time out.
Finally, in attack, Ousmane Dembele and Antoine Griezmann, who is finally starting to show his best form in Barcelona colours, ought to start in the wide areas. Leading the attack for Barcelona at the Benito Villamarin should be captain Lionel Messi, after a sensational display in the midweek against Granada.
Barcelona Predicted XI: ter Stegen; Mingueza, Araujo, Lenglet, Alba; Pedri, Pjanic, de Jong; Dembele, Messi, Griezmann