Barcelona will face Athletic Bilbao in view of the fundamental clash of Lyon
Athletic Bilbao is going through a period of inconsistent form and Barcelona will try to exploit it on a trip to the homeland of Ernesto Valverde, the Basque Country. Lionel Messi is a doubt for this match-up, while Ousmane Dembélé is expected for his return.
The Txingurri have collected only 7 points in the last 5 games, despite they behaved very well in the Copa del Rey. Barça full-backs should look for aliens Iñaki Williams and Iker Muniain, who have been very impressive this season.
Expected initial XI (4-3-3):
Goalkeeper: Marc-André ter Stegen
The right back: Nélson Semedo
Center-back (on the right): Gerard Piqué
Center-back (left): Thomas Vermaelen
Left back: Sergi Roberto
Central playmaker (right): Carles Aleñá
Holding the midfielder: Ivan Rakitić
Central playmaker (left): Arturo Vidal
Right wing: Malcom
center forward: Lionel Messi
Left wing: Ousmane Dembélé
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Due to the long-term injury of Jasper Cillessen, Marc-André ter Stegen will remain among the sticks. In the role of right-back, Nélson Semedo will retain his place in the starting lineup while Sergi Roberto enters the field to replace Jordi Alba on the left to give the left-back Spanish a much needed rest.
Gerard Piqué should remain in the first team, with Thomas Vermaelen replacing Clément Lenglet. In midfield, Arthur's injury is a heavy blow while Sergio Busquets could be rested. In that case, Ivan Rakitić would take on the tasks of the Spanish national team.
It is expected that Carles Aleñá enter the field together with Arturo Vidal. At the top, Luis Suárez could get a much needed rest with Lionel Messi coming in to replace the 32-year-old Uruguayan striker in the middle.
Malcom should be rewarded for his 1-1 performance against Real Madrid in the Copa del Rey semi-final with a place in the starting lineup, while Ousmane Dembélé could make his comeback on the left wing, replacing the inconsistent Philippe Coutinho.