In the aftermath of a dismal performance against Celta de Vigo on Wednesday afternoon, the Catalans look to improve on their mistakes against newly promoted side Las Palmas UD at the Camp Nou this Saturday.
Celta gave Barcelona a dressing-down as they earned a well-deserved 4-1 win; Star players Nolito, Iago Aspas and Guidetti helped expose their defense. Elsewhere in Spain, Real Madrid faced Athletic Club away from home, which was sure to be just as tough of a match. As Barcelona left in defeat, the Galacticos left with a hard-fought 2-1 win, maintaining their top spot in the league. Barca’s loss has surely sunk in the minds of the first team as they now sit in a disappointing 5th place. We could possibly see a whole different lineup against Las Palmas.
GK: Marc-Andre Ter Stegen
His performance against Celta was embarrasing, but I feel he will bounce back from this defeat with the incentive to give a good performance at home to help FCB jump back to the Top 3.
(My instincts says that Luis Enrique MIGHT allow Jordi Masip to start against Palmas. Debatable? You decide. Look out for any information towards a squad list for this fixture.)
Jordi Alba has developed some neck pain, which kept him in Catalonia for the away game. Since he had a good performance against Levante, Adriano should be the best choice for this upcoming match since Mathieu is not made to be a right-back.
(Another possible choice for a left-back is Douglas, who has recovered from injury. He was originally the replacement for Jordi Alba in the substitute list against Celta.)
CB: Gerard Piqué
Piqué is the strongest center-back Barca owns for defending corners and for handling situations in the box. He has the drive to better himself when times are tough and the game is against him.
CB: Marc Bartra
Magical at times, he’s a solid substitute for any center-back and can take up the wings fairly well. His goal against Levante will play a part in Enrique’s decision to let him start on Saturday.
(Vermaelan hasn’t played since Barca’s win over Atlético Madrid, where he only played for 28 minutes. He’s been in solid form and can be another good choice to start.)
RB: Dani Alves
Being caught out defensively against Celta might send him to the bench while Sergi Roberto fills up the right-back role for this match-up. However, I don’t think Enrique is ready to give up on Barca’s star right-back just yet.
CM: Ivan Rakitic
Rakitic was oddly put on the bench in favor for Sergi Roberto in midfield versus Celta and could have created a lot more successful chances for Barca that night. Rakitic is a key playmaker at the club and should be recognized as so, should he start against Palmas.
CM: Sergio Busquets
He’s been a great holding defensive midfielder for the club and is vital for the possession-based football that the team plays by.
(In my opinion, the best option for his substitute would be Sergi Roberto since he is also a good holding attacking midfielder. I don’t think he would start over either midfielder but I feel he is the best sub option.)
CM: Andres Iniesta
He’s created the most chances out of all midfielders at Barcelona this season and is a consistent player on the field.
His goal against Celta was a little consolation but we can expect critical plays against Palmas from one of Barca’s most dangerous forwards so far this season.
CF / ST: Luis Suárez
Suárez had trouble scoring goals in the beginning of last season and is having the same problem now. He’s due for a goal soon, though.
RW: Lionel Messi
He’s made more chances and more assists than anyone in Barcelona this season and is tied with Neymar at 3 goals for the Catalan club.
Possible Substitute List: Masip, Douglas, Mascherano, Sergi Roberto, El Haddadi, Sandro Ramiréz, Gumbau