Ousmane Dembele is in line to start, but Ronald Araujo and Frenkie de Jong could be rested when Barcelona face Sevilla in La Liga.
Barcelona will be aiming to continue their unbeaten run in La Liga when they lock horns with title challengers Sevilla at Camp Nou on Sunday night. Heading into the game, manager Xavi Hernandez has one new roster concern to deal with as Sergino Dest has been ruled out with an injury. He joins Samuel Umtiti and Sergi Roberto on the sidelines, while Ansu Fati is still not fit enough to return.
With a crucial encounter in the UEFA Europa League against Eintracht Frankfurt coming up, manager Xavi Hernandez insisted that he would rotate his squad on Sunday. The players who were involved heavily during the international break could be given a breather.
“We have lots of players who are crucial, not just the XI, and that’s positive. We have different options, lots of players deserve the minutes. They all train really well. Long trips, possible injuries, suspensions, we will play a lot of games and we will have to rotate,” the 42-year-old said in his press conference (h/t Barca Blaugranes).
Marc-Andre ter Stegen is an undisputed starter between the sticks for Barcelona and will stay so when Sevilla come visiting. With Dest ruled out, Dani Alves becomes the obvious pick at right-back while there is no looking past Jordi Alba on the left side of the defence. Gerard Pique is also guaranteed to feature in the backline, but Ronald Araujo could be rested after his exertions for Uruguay, with Eric Garcia likely to start.
Captain Sergio Busquets will be fresh after not being called up to the Spanish national team during the international break. He ought to start at the base of the three-man midfield unit for Barcelona. Based on his red-hot form, Pedri is another guaranteed inclusion for Xavi against a difficult opponent like Sevilla.
However, Frenkie de Jong could be held back after playing 180 minutes for the Netherlands during the international break. In the Dutchman’s place, young Nico Gonzalez could get the nod in the middle of the park, although Gavi is also a strong contender to feature for the Catalans.
Like Frenkie de Jong, Ferran Torres was also heavily involved for Spain and could benefit from a breather ahead of a crucial game against Eintracht Frankfurt. It should pave the way for Ousmane Dembele to start on the left flank against Sevilla, while Adama Traore occupies the right wing. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang should be the man leading the Barcelona attack against Los Nervionenses.
Barcelona Predicted XI: ter Stegen, Alves, Pique, Garcia, Alba, Nico, Busquets, Pedri, Adama, Aubameyang, Dembele