FC Barcelona will look to maintain their lead at the top of the table as they make a short trip to Girona on Saturday. The visitors will be aiming for their sixth consecutive win of the campaign, thereby, retaining their seven-point lead over Real Madrid by the end of the weekend. Ernesto Valverde’s men were prolific and faultless in their win over Eibar in midweek. But the coach will no doubt make some changes in his starting lineup, having an eye on the crucial CL fixture against Sporting in midweek.
Let’s have a look at how Barca might lineup against the Blanquivermell.
Goalkeeper: Marc Andre ter Stegen will be the man between the sticks for the visitors. The German International will aim for his fourth clean sheet of the season against Girona.
Right Back: Nelson Semedo did feature in the midweek game against Eibar as expected but the Portuguese could make way for Sergi Roberto this weekend.
Center Back(R): Javier Mascherano could continue to play in the centre back position against Girona. Barca fans will be expected a better performance from the Argentine.
Center Back(L): Samuel Umtiti has been an ever-present figure in the Barca defence this season. He will partner alongside Mascherano in the centre of the defence.
Left Back: Lucas Digne featured against Eibar in the last game, but the Frenchman might have to make way for Jordi Alba this weekend.
Central Defensive Midfielder: Sergio Busquets will once again start for The Blaugrana. The Spanish International will provide necessary cover for the backline.
Central Midfield(R): It was surprising to see Andres Iniesta featured against Eibar in the last game but it might the time to give the 33-year-old some rest ahead of a crucial Champions League encounter against Sporting CP. Paulinho will get his second start within a week. The Brazilian will look to capitalize on his brilliant performance in midweek.
Central Midfield(L): Ivan Rakitic will partner alongside Paulinho in central midfield. The Croatian will be crucial in Barca’s buildup play. Rakitic’s passing and distribution will also play a key role as Barca aim to break down the Girona defence.
Left Wing: Gerard Deulofeu will start on the right-hand channel, replacing Denis Suarez. The former Evertonian will be looking to make an impression, especially with the absence of Ousmane Dembele.
Right Wing: It goes without saying that Lionel Messi will continue on the left flank. The Argentine was unstoppable in midweek. Messi is already making a strong claim for this season’s Trofeo Pichichi with nine goals in five matches.
Striker: Luis Suarez has been quite bad in the early season. The Uruguayan struggled with fitness in the early parts of the season, but coach Ernesto Valverde backed the former Liverpool striker, which could well mean that Suarez will lead the Barcelona attack against Girona on the weekend.
This is how they could line up: