Gerard Pique is fit to start while Ronald Araujo and Ousmane Dembele should return to the side when Barcelona take on Real Madrid in the El Clasico on Sunday.
Barcelona will travel to the Santiago Bernabeu this Sunday to face off against rivals Real Madrid as they look to pick up their first El Clasico victory of the 2021/22 season. Heading into the game, manager Xavi Hernandez has been handed a fresh injury headache as Sergino Dest is ruled out with a thigh issue he picked up against Galatasaray in midweek.
The good news, though, is that Gerard Pique, who came off with a knock in the UEFA Europa League clash, is fit and will travel to the Santiago Bernabeu. “He’s fine, he had some discomfort during the Galatasaray game, but will be ready for the Clasico,” the manager said in his pre-match presser (h/t Barça Universal).
The veteran defender should start at the heart of the defence for Barcelona against Real Madrid. He will likely be paired with Ronald Araujo, who has been left out of the starting XI in the last couple of matches by Xavi. With Dest ruled out, Dani Alves becomes the obvious pick at right-back while there is no looking past Jordi Alba on the left side. Marc-Andre ter Stegen will line up between the sticks, as usual.
Moving into the middle of the park Barcelona are spoilt for choices as Nico Gonzalez is back in contention after serving his one-match ban in the league. But he is unlikely to start here with the manager likely to prefer Sergio Busquets as the anchorman, while Frenkie de Jong and Pedri start as the interior midfielders. Gavi will also likely miss out as a result.
As for the attacking unit, Barcelona again have plentiful options to choose from. But, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who has been in fine touch in front of goal, ought to get the nod as the centre-forward against Real Madrid at the Bernabeu.
Memphis Depay has scored a couple of goals since returning from injury but is unlikely to break into the starting lineup for the Blaugrana on Sunday night. Instead, Ferran Torres should continue occupying the left flank in the attacking trident for the Catalan giants at the Santiago Bernabeu.
On the right flank, it will be a straight tossup between Adama Traore and Ousmane Dembele, both of whom can exploit Real Madrid’s defence. The latter has looked in fine touch of late, though, and could get the nod ahead of the former La Masia ace.
Barcelona Predicted XI: ter Stegen, Alves, Araujo, Pique, Alba, de Jong, Busquets, Pedri, Dembele, Aubameyang, Torres.
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