Barcelona will lock horns with Athletic Club de Bilbao in the Spanish Supercup on Sunday evening at the Estadio de La Cartuja. Barcelona defeated Real Sociedad in the first semi-final of the tournament to secure their berth in the final whereas Athletic Bilbao got the better off the mighty Real Madrid.
Barcelona will be heading into the fixture without a couple of first-string players missing for Ronald Koeman. The likes of Philippe Coutinho, Ansu Fati, Gerard Pique and Sergi Roberto are all ruled out of the fixture due to their ongoing injury struggles. Interestingly, Lionel Messi may also not make it in time for the final in Seville. The Argentine’s absence was certainly felt a couple of days ago.
Here’s how Barcelona could take to the field against Athletic Club –
Marc Andre Ter Stegen will occupy the sticks between the goal for the Spanish giants on Sunday evening. The German was pivotal in the semi-final as he made a couple of world-class saves in the penalty shootout. Sergino Dest is expected to return to the line-up after Oscar Mingueza looked a bit uncomfortable last time around.
The remainder of the back-line will most likely be unchanged with Clement Lenglet, Ronald Araujo and Jordi Alba retaining their places. Lenglet will have to be cautious as the player has amassed four yellow cards. This backline was relatively untested against Real Sociedad but will have to be on their heels when Barcelona lock horns with Athletic Club de Bilbao at the Estadio de La Cartuja.
Frenkie de Jong will start in midfield after a topsy turvy evening against Real Sociedad. The Dutchman scored the opening goal but later conceded a penalty. Frenkie will be keen on receiving the ball at his feet in the most dangerous areas of the field. Sergio Busquets will undoubtedly start in midfield with the sort of experience his carries. The Spaniard usually remains calm in pressure situations and the Supercopa Final on Sunday will be no exception. The third spot in midfield will be occupied by Pedri, who has been one of the finest blossoming footballers this season. The 18-year-old is a joy to watch on any given day and the world’s attention will be on him in the cup final.
Ousmane Dembele will start out on the right-hand side after a bright display against Real Sociedad. The Frenchman stayed on the field of play from the first whistle to the last and even participated in the penalty shootout. Martin Braithwaite will occupy the number nine position in the absence of Lionel Messi. The Argentine is uncertain for this fixture and it could have a massive impact on the outcome of the game. Antoine Griezmann will start on the opposite flank of Dembele and will be keen on shouldering the responsibility of scoring match-winning and decisive goals for his team in the absence of Messi.