Barcelona will entertain Espanyol at the Nou Camp on Saturday afternoon as they focus on returning to winning ways in La Liga. The Catalan giants were held to a 3-3 draw by Celta Vigo before the international break, so they will be eager to pick up a victory and give Xavi a win in his first game in charge of Barca.
The Spanish head coach will probably set his team up in a 4-3-3 formation and could opt to name a strong starting XI for this game. Both Pedri and Philippe Coutinho are likely to play from the start but Ansu Fati won’t be available for selection due to injury.
4-3-3 Barcelona Predicted Lineup Vs Espanyol
Marc-André ter Stegen will feature in between the sticks for the Catalans after allowing three goals versus Celta Vigo in his last league outing. Gerard Pique will function along with Ronald Araujo at the heart of the Barca backline as they try to earn a clean sheet in front of their home fans.
Sergi Roberto will fill in at right-back while Jordi Alba looks to impress on the other side as the left-back. Both of them will get the freedom to get forward and cause a few problems for the Espanyol defenders.
Oscar Mingueza will be named on Xavi’s bench as he offers cover for the defensive spots.
Frenkie De Jong, Sergio Busquets and Pedri will make up the Barca midfield as they try to dominate possession and engineer a few clear-cut chances for their teammates up top. Riqui Puig will have to settle for a place on the bench but might come on to influence the game in the second half if required.
Memphis Depay will be a guaranteed starter as a winger on the left flank while Philippe Coutinho hopes to prove his worth by putting in a goal-scoring display as the right-sided wide player. Luuk de Jong is expected to lead the line for the Catalan club down the middle.
Ansu Fati, Ousmane Dembele and Sergio Aguero will all be sidelined for this game because of injuries.