TheSportsRush brings Barcelona predicted lineup on their second La Liga match-week against Real Valladolid.
Barcelona continued their impressive La Liga form from the previous season with a crushing 3-0 victory over Alaves last weekend. New club captain Lionel Messi had a major role in the win, scoring twice to kick-start the new season. Substitute Philippe Coutinho also managed to get his name on the score-sheet, as Barcelona eased to victory in the second half.
Ernesto Valverde’s debut season with the Blaugranas saw them winning the domestic double, but Valverde will be now looking to find success abroad.
However, coming back to Spain, Barcelona will now travel to Valladolid on Saturday to face Real Valladolid, as they look to start their title defense on a high note.
The Spaniard has preferred the 4-3-3 formation over the course of his debut season including the season opener against Alaves, but could also opt to experiment with a 4-2-3-1 formation against Valladolid.
Marc-Andre Ter Stegen has established his names as one of the best goalkeepers in the world in the past few seasons, and is most certain to start between the sticks if he does not suffer from any injury.
Barcelona’s defense will be led by veteran Pique, who will be partnered by the World Cup winning defender, Samuel Umtiti. Nelson Semedo and Jordi Alba are also expected to operate on the right and left flanks respectively, with Valverde keen to have a strong back-line.
The midfield will be crucially controlled by defensive star Sergio Busquets, who has been the unsung hero for the Catalan giants over the past decade now. Busquets was partnered by Ivan Rakitic and Sergio Roberto in the 3-man midfield vs Alaves, but Valverde could also opt to use a 2-man defensive midfield of Rakitic and Busquets.
The forward line is likely to feature Ousmane Dembele on the left flank, with club captain Lionel Messi operating on the right. Philippe Coutinho’s good performance off the bench might well help him get a place in the playing XI as the attacking central midfielder, and will be followed by Luis Suarez upfront.
With the opposition being Valldolid, Valverde will have room to experiment and test the bench strength of the Blaugranas for the upcoming season.
Predicted lineup: ter Stegen; Semedo, Pique, Umtiti, Alba; Busquets, Rakitic; Messi, Dembele, Coutinho, Suarez