The BayArena in Leverkusen, Germany is the setting for FC Barcelona‘s final game of Champions League group qualifiers with the reigning champions at the top of Group E with 13 points.
Bayer, with 5 points, will not take a loss as an option as they must win and hope that AS Roma do not defeat BATE Borisov in their Group E fixture to secure a Last of 16 position. This could be the most determined Leverkusen side Barcelona have ever faced with top players excluded for the 19-man shortlist traveling to Germany.
In goal will be Marc-Andre Ter Stegen. Jordi Alba will most likely play in left-back to pressure attacking midfielders like Kevin Kampl and Karim Bellarabi. At right-back, Adriano is a good choice to replace Dani Alves, who is suspended.
A good center-back duo for this game should Thomas Vermaelan & Marc Bartra. Both have done exceptionally well whenever they are needed and a game with not much at stake will keep them grounded in giving a good performance at the back. Gerard Pique has been left in Spain to rest leaving Javier Mascherano as a great substitute if he doesn’t start.
Andres Iniesta also stays behind in Barcelona to rest. The midfield will most likely start with Sergio Busquets and Ivan Rakitic with the possibility of either Munir El Haddadi, Sergi Samper, Gerard Gumbau or even Mascherano standing in for the 31-year-old. I pick Samper to start.
With Captain Iniesta gone, the armband goes to vice-captain Lionel Messi, who should start alongside Neymar and Luis Suárez. Either the Brazilian or the Uruguay international might not stay on field for long though, as Luis Enrique might sub them out to rest their incredible form.
Messi, Neymar, Suarez, Rakitic, Busquets, Munir, Alba, Vermaelan, Bartra, Adriano
Via – Lineup Builder