Dani Alves should return to the lineup while Gavi should replace Ferran Torres when Barcelona play hosts to Athletic Bilbao in La Liga.
Barcelona will be aiming to build on their current form and rack up another victory when they face off against Athletic Bilbao in La Liga at Camp Nou on Sunday night.
Barcelona have been boosted with the return of Memphis Depay and Clement Lenglet ahead of the game, meaning Ansu Fati, Sergi Roberto, and Samuel Umtiti are the only injury-enforced absentees. Jordi Alba also misses out due to suspension for the Catalan giants.
“They are training normally. They are 100%, unless anything unexpected happens they will be ready for tomorrow. There is more competition in the entire team but Memphis will be important for us, same as Clement Lenglet. It’s good for me to have more players to choose from and for the players to improve, make sure they give their all,” Xavi Hernandez said in his presser (h/t Barca Blaugranes).
A few changes could be made to the team that demolished Napoli in the UEFA Europa League earlier this week. However, no alteration is expected in goal with Marc-Andre ter Stegen the undisputed starter despite his inconsistent form. Ronald Araujo and Gerard Pique should hold on to their places at the heart of the Barcelona defence.
Changes will be made in the full-back slots due to Alba’s absence. Dani Alves, who missed the last two La Liga matches due to suspension, should return to the starting XI, taking up the right-back position. Sergino Dest, who has looked good in his last couple of appearances, ought to move into the left-back spot.
There may be a temptation to rest captain Sergio Busquets. But with Barcelona failing to beat Athletic Bilbao this season, it makes sense for Xavi to stick with his captain in the middle of the park. For the same reason, both Frenkie de Jong and Pedri, who have been in fine nick of late, should be retained in the lineup ahead of Nico Gonzalez.
Adama Traore and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang are also in good form heading into the game and should be given another start against Athletic Bilbao. However, Ferran Torres could be given a rest as he has looked a bit scratchy in the past couple of matches. In his place, young Gavi should start on the left flank.
Barcelona Predicted XI: ter Stegen, Alves, Pique, Araujo, Dest, de Jong, Busquets, Pedri, Adama, Aubameyang, Gavi