Barcelona square off against rivals Espanyol in the Debri Barceloni on Sunday night at the Camp Nou and the home side will most certainly be keen on securing all three points from the encounter to catch up on Real Madrid in the La Liga table.
Barcelona returned to winning ways with a much needed 3-0 victory over Osasuna and following an exhibition clash in Qatar during midweek, the Spanish champions will now be keen on going on an extended winning run in the coming weeks.
Up next for Barcelona is an encounter against city rivals Espanyol and one can be sure that the giants will have to play extremely well in order to claim a positive result from the encounter.
Here is the strongest possible Barcelona lineup for the clash against Espanyol –
Marc-Andre ter Stegen was handed a complete rest in Qatar and he is certain to be returning to the starting lineup on Sunday.
Ter Stegen managed a morale boosting clean sheet against Osasuna last weekend and he will be keen on getting another in the game with Espanyol as well.
In the central defensive position, the duo of Gerard Pique and Samuel Umtiti look like the first choice combination, while the full backs lining up on the night will be Jordi Alba and Sergi Roberto.
Lucas Digne, Aleix Vidal and Javier Mascherano are the other options for manager Luis Enrique to choose from if indeed he decides to change things around at the back.
It is clear for everyone to see that Andres Iniesta’s return to full fitness has coincided with Barcelona’s upturn in fortunes and the skipper is sure to be lining up at the middle of the park on Sunday.
Ivan Rakitic and Sergio Busquets most certainly enjoy playing alongside Iniesta and the midfield trio will be crucial to Barcelona’s success this weekend. The likes of Arda Turan, Rafinha, Denis Suarez and Andre Gomes will be useful options from the bench for Enrique to choose from,
Despite playing for only 32 minutes in Doha, the holy trinity of Lionel Messi, Neymar and Luis Suarez all got their names on the score sheet against Al-Ahli in midweek and although the match was only a friendly, the trio playing to their best once again is a huge encouragement.
Now in more serious matters against Espanyol, the three superstars will have to perform well once again and if they do so, a comfortable home victory should be on the cards.