Barcelona’s terrible run of form continued as they only managed a 1-1 draw against third tier Hercules in the Copa Del Rey on Wednesday night and the Catalans have now failed to win three of their last four matches.
Admittedly, Barcelona did put out a second string team for the clash but it was certainly a match they should have won and manager Luis Enrique would surely not have been pleased with his side’s preparations for the blockbuster El Clasico against Real Madrid at the Nou Camp on Saturday.
With Barcelona six points off the pace already, they will have to win the game this weekend at all costs and it will be interesting to see if the defending Spanish champions are able to arrest their poor form during the encounter.
Here is the strongest possible Barcelona lineup for the clash against Real Madrid –
Marc-Andre ter Stegen made a number of decent saves during the 1-1 draw against Real Sociedad last week and the German international will surely need to play well on Saturday as well when he comes up against the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema.
The Barcelona backline were extremely poor last weekend but it does look like Enrique will be persisting with the same set of players in the El Clasico as their collective terrible display was surely a one off.
The likes of Sergi Roberto, Javier Mascherano, Gerard Pique and Jordi Alba certainly form a formidable looking backline but they have been unconvincing in recent times and the quartet will have to step their game up in order to avoid being ripped apart by Madrid on Saturday.
Barcelona have been boosted with the news that talisman Andres Iniesta has returned to full training and there is a strong possibility that the skipper will start this weekend.
It has been clear to see that Barcelona play much better with Iniesta pulling the strings in midfield and with Ivan Rakitic and Sergio Busquets alongside him, Luis Enrique’s side should perform more smoothly against Real Madrid than they have done in recent matches.
Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar were handed a deserved rest in the midweek encounter against Hercules but the three superstars are certain to be starting on Saturday.
Messi, Suarez and Neymar usually tend to perform well against Madrid and the clash during the weekend will be one in which the trio will most certainly have to step up to the plate in order to help Barcelona halt their current woes.