Predicted Barcelona lineup against Atletico Madrid: Fati to return; Pedri, de Jong in contention

Ansu Fati will return, while Pedri and Frenkie de Jong will be in contention to represent Barcelona against Atletico Madrid on Sunday.

Barcelona will be eager to bounce back to winning ways when they welcome Atletico Madrid to Spotify Camp Nou on Sunday evening. And Xavi Hernandez has greeted positive updates on the team news front ahead of his side’s latest fixture.

Pedri and Frenkie de Jong have regained fitness and are in the matchday squad to take on Atletico Madrid. In addition, Xavi has included 15-year-old Lamine Yamal in the group for the first time. But Sergi Roberto, Andreas Christensen, and Ousmane Dembele remain unavailable.

Xavi discussed Yamal and his prospects during his pre-match press conference. The Barcelona boss also spoke about Dembele and the Frenchman’s progress from his injury travails.

He said, “We are trying to give the youngsters a chance and he is a player who can help us and has great talent. He is young, with character, and is strong in 1v1s. He’s a player who can shape an era with the team, he’s not afraid of being called up. He might help us.”

Barcelona vs Atletico Madrid Preview: Probable Lineups, Prediction, Tactics, Team News & Key Stats

“The youngsters are not afraid at all. When I look at Lamine, I see an enormous level of self-confidence. Just as Pedri has Iniesta’s qualities, Lamine is different, too. He has things from several footballers and has an innate talent. I don’t find him resembling anyone in particular.”

“He’s [Dembele] practically fit again. This week we will get him back. Christensen is also almost 100%. Tomorrow, we will decide if Pedri and/or Frenkie start. Except for Sergi Roberto, we are close to having the entire squad ready.”

Considering how delicate Pedri and de Jong’s fitness has been lately, Xavi will unlikely hand either player a start on Sunday. Instead, they should appear off the bench to provide the impetus to grab all three points. So Franck Kessie, Sergio Busquets, and Gavi will form the midfield trifecta.

Meanwhile, Alejandro Balde will likely vacate the left-wing berth by moving into the left-back spot. So Ansu Fati will return on the left flank in the final third. And the young Spanish international will join Robert Lewandowski and Raphinha in the offensive unit.

Barcelona Predicted XI vs Atlético Madrid

As for the defensive unit, Balde should join Jules Kounde, Ronald Araujo, and Marcos Alonso in the backline. Alonso will replace the injured Roberto, joining Araujo in the central defensive partnership. So Kounde will start as the right-back, with Marc-Andre ter Stegen being an automatic pick between the sticks.

Predicted Barcelona XI: ter Stegen; Kounde, Araujo, Alonso, Balde; Kessie, Busquets, Gavi; Raphinha, Lewandowski, Fati

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