Predicted Barcelona lineup against Almeria: Araujo misses out again; Gundogan suspended

Ilkay Gundogan will be unavailable to represent Barcelona against Almeria at the Power Horse Stadium on Thursday due to suspension.

Barcelona will aim to build on the win over Real Sociedad this past weekend when they lock horns with Almeria at the Power Horse Stadium on Thursday night. And Xavi Hernandez has a new roster issue hampering his preparations ahead of his side’s latest fixture.

Ilkay Gundogan is the latest absentee, with the German international serving a suspension this midweek. The former Manchester City captain has joined long-term absentees Alejandro Balde, Frenkie de Jong, and Gavi on the sidelines.

In addition, Ronald Araujo is a doubt for the fixture as he continues recovering from a knock. Xavi discussed Araujo’s availability during his pre-match press conference. The former Spanish international also spoke about other players, including Vitor Roque and Pedri.

The Barcelona manager said, “We were fine but there was fatigue. Araujo is still injured and tomorrow we will decide, there will be one per line. Gündogan will be unavailable through suspension. Ronald knows what I think, today I have talked to him, in a sincere way and he knows what I want and hope for his future. He is happy here.”

“It depends on the game, the other day they pressed us up front. If he [Pedri] is okay, he will be a difference both in defence and attack.  There is no debate. He is developing. There are players ahead [on the pecking order] and that’s why he [Vitor Roque] plays less. This has happened all my life.”

Vitor Roque will not return to the Barcelona starting lineup on Thursday, with Raphinha, Lamine Yamal, and Robert Lewandowski retaining their spots in the final third. As for the midfield unit, Fermin Lopez should replace the suspended Gundogan. The youngster will join Andreas Christensen and Pedri in the middle of the park.

Meanwhile, Araujo will miss out again, with Inigo Martinez pairing up with Pau Cubarsi at the heart of the defence. Jules Kounde and Joao Cancelo will complete the numbers in the backline, with Marc-Andre ter Stegen taking his usual spot between the sticks.

Almeria vs Barcelona Predicted XI

Predicted Barcelona XI: ter Stegen; Kounde, Cubarsi, Martinez, Cancelo; Pedri, Christensen, Fermin; Yamal, Lewandowski, Raphinha

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