Sergio Busquets is fit to feature while Ronald Araujo should replace Oscar Mingueza in defence when Barcelona face off against Levante UD in La Liga.
Barcelona will be aiming to get back to winning ways and take a lead in the 2020/21 La Liga title race when they lock horns with Levante at Estadi Ciutat de Valencia on Tuesday night.
Leading up to the game, manager Ronald Koeman has greeted some positive update on the team news front. Sergio Busquets, who had to be taken off with an injury at the weekend against Atletico Madrid, is already back to fitness and is included in the travelling squad for the game. That means, Barcelona continue to be without just Philippe Coutinho and Ansu Fati, who remain out with knee injuries.
Barcelona are unlikely to shift from the 3-5-2 formation that Koeman has preferred in recent months, but there could be a change of personnel in some areas when they take on Levante. Between the sticks, though, there is no looking past Marc-Andre ter Stegen, who was simply outstanding in the goalless draw in the last game.
Gerard Pique and Clement Lenglet are expected to hold on to their places in the three-man defence. But there is a strong possibility that the third slot could see a change, with Ronald Araujo set to come in for Oscar Mingueza, after having impressed in the second half as a substitute.
Speaking about the Uruguayan in his pre-match press conference (h/t Barca Universal), manager Koeman said, “Araujo? Ronald was injured for a while and it was difficult for him to reach his physical level. Now he’s fine, he played a great second half against Atlético. He can play in various positions in the defense.”
As for the wing-back slots, Jordi Alba is a certain starter ahead of Junior Firpo on the left side. On the opposite flank, Sergino Dest has seen his form tail off a bit in recent fixtures but is likely to be given another shot on Tuesday night ahead of Sergi Roberto, who has looked off-colour since returning from injury.
With Busquets fit and back in training already, the veteran midfielder ought to feature from the get-go against Levante, meaning Miralem Pjanic will continue to have to wait for a chance in the starting XI. Alongside him, there is no looking past the duo of Frenkie de Jong and Pedri, with Ilaix Moriba continuing to be an option from the bench for Barcelona.
Up ahead in attack, Lionel Messi and Antoine Griezmann have been the preferred options for Koeman in the past few games. And while the Barcelona captain remains a certainty to feature, the 2018 World Cup winner could drop out after a toothless display against Atletico Madrid, making way for Ousmane Dembele, who has seen his game-time reduce drastically of late.
Barcelona Predicted XI: ter Stegen; Araujo, Pique, Lenglet; Dest, de Jong, Busquets, Pedri, Alba; Dembele, Messi