FC Barcelona are gunning for a place in the quarter-finals of the UEFA Europa League as they take on Galatasaray on Friday. The away game will serve as the second leg of the Round of 16 tie, after the two sides drew goalless in the first leg. It essentially means the Catalans need a victory if they are to proceed to the next round, which could be tricky, especially at the Nef Stadyumu.
Predicted Barcelona Lineup Vs Galatasaray
Gerard Pique is unlikely to be available in this midweek encounter after sustaining a knock against Osasuna. The veteran should join Samuel Umtiti in the club’s list of defensive absentees.
Pique’s absence could see Ronald Araujo occupy the central defensive role alongside Eric Garcia. The two are rather inexperienced but offer a unique combination of technique and physique.
Elsewhere in defence, Sergino Dest should deputise for the ineligible Dani Alves, whereas Jordi Alba should retain his place on the opposite flank, regardless of the upcoming El Clasico.
There is no looking past Marc-Andre ter Stegen in goal either, even though the German has been far from his best this season.
Xavi Hernandez is expected to field a strong lineup knowing his team must secure a victory in this second leg. With that in mind, Sergio Busquets appears to be a favourite to occupy the number six slot.
Ahead of him, Frenkie de Jong and Pedri should complete the three-man Barcelona midfield, as they look to offer the creative essence in the final third. Their collective technical prowess could be vital in granting Barcelona more control in this game.
Xavi is spoilt for choice in the attacking department as nearly all of his frontline attackers are available. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang remains the favourite to spearhead the Barcelona attack, but it will be interesting to see who accompanies the Gabonese international in the final third.
Ferran Torres should keep his place in the side despite his questionable record in front of goal. As for the opposite flank, Xavi may persist with Ousman Dembele after the Frenchman bagged a couple of assists in the game against Osasuna. However, the likes of Nico and Adama Traore are equally viable options for Barcelona in the attacking third.