Venue: Nou Camp Time: 3:00 PM GMT / 10:00 AM EST Date:30/01/2016
Television coverage: beIN Sports en Español, beIN Sports USA, beIN SPORTS CONNECT U.S.A.
Barcelona continued their rampant form with a comfortable 3-1 victory over Athletic Bilbao in the Copa del Rey in midweek and the result has stretched the Catalan giants’ winning run to seven matches in all competitions.
On current form, it seems like no one will be able to stop the wonderful Barcelona machine but they are sure to be handed a huge test when title rivals Atletico Madrid pay a visit to the Camp Nou this Saturday. Atletico have enjoyed a stunning season so far as well and are level on points at the top of the La Liga table with Barcelona.
Diego Simeone’s men have stuttered in recent matches following a home draw against Sevilla as well as a disappointing exit from the Copa del Rey at the hands of Celta Vigo and one can be sure that they will be out to make amends by potentially claiming sole ownership at the top of the table with a victory over Barca this weekend.
Here is a strongest possible lineup for Barcelona on the night –
Claudio Bravo was rested once again in the Copa Del Rey encounter against Athletic Bilbao and the Chilean is expected to take his usual place in the starting lineup for the La Liga clash against Atletico this weekend.
Atletico are a physical side who are very difficult to defend against during set pieces and Bravo most certainly has to be commanding of his area on the day.
Thomas Vermaelen has endured a couple of difficult encounters over the past few weeks and the Belgian could be dropped to the bench this weekend, as manager Luis Enrique cannot afford to take any chances against a dangerous side such as Atletico.
As a result, Javier Mascherano and Gerad Pique are expected to take their place at the heart of the backline while the full back positions will be occupied by the duo of Aleix Vidal and Dani Alves. The likes of Marc Bartra and Jeremy Mathieu are also available.
Sergio Busquests only started off the bench during the midweek clash against Athletic, with Sergi Roberto taking his place in the starting lineup but one can be sure that the Spanish international will replace the youngster for Saturday’s clash.
Ivan Rakitic is likely to continue in the lineup while Andres Iniesta will most likely be reinstated in place of Javier Mascherano, who will be dropping back into central defence. Former Atletico star Arda Turan and Adriano are expected to make the bench.
There is no doubting that the fantastic trio of Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar will be leading the line for Barcelona. Despite their wonderful run of form though, Atletico possess one of the meanest defences around in Europe and they well have to work extremely hard in order to find the back of the net.
Via – Lineup Builder