Valencia vs Barcelona: Expected Starting XI for visit to Mestalla

BARCELONA, SPAIN - SEPTEMBER 29: Arturo Vidal of FC Barcelona during the La Liga Santander match between FC Barcelona v Athletic de Bilbao at the Camp Nou on September 29, 2018 in Barcelona Spain (Photo by Jeroen Meuwsen/Soccrates /Getty Images)
BARCELONA, SPAIN - SEPTEMBER 29: Arturo Vidal of FC Barcelona during the La Liga Santander match between FC Barcelona v Athletic de Bilbao at the Camp Nou on September 29, 2018 in Barcelona Spain (Photo by Jeroen Meuwsen/Soccrates /Getty Images) /
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Barcelona will be without several key players against Valencia

The game against Tottenham was tiring for nearly all the players, with several members of the first-team getting roughed up by the likes of Victor Wanyama, Toby Alderweireld and Harry Winks. Ernesto Valverde is not expected to risk any potential aggravations in the La Liga.

Barcelona’s form in the Champions League has been very good, with a total of 8 goals being scored in two games. On the other hand, the side’s La Liga form is suffering, with 7 points dropped in the last 3 games, with a loss to minnows Leganés rubbing salt into the wound.

So, Valverde must figure out the ideal combination of players to ensure a victory while minimising risk of injuries to key players.

Expected Starting XI (4-3-3):

Goalkeeper: Marc-André ter Stegen

Right-back: Sergi Roberto

Centre-back(right): Samuel Umtiti

Centre-back(left): Clément Lenglet

Left-back: Jordi Alba

Central playmaker(right): Arturo Vidal

Holding midfielder: Ivan Rakitić

Central playmaker(left): Arthur

Right forward: Lionel Messi

Centre forward: Munir

Left forward: Ousmane Dembélé

Sergi Roberto should return to the starting lineup despite Nélson Semedo good performance in the Champions League against Tottenham. Samuel Umtiti should replace the fatigued Gerard Piqué, who picked up a minor ankle injury after a challenge from Harry Kane at Wembley.

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Clément Lenglet and Jordi Alba should retain their places in the lineup, with Arturo Vidal returning to first-team action after being left out of the starting lineup against Tottenham. Sergio Busquets should also be rested as he is suffering from a thigh problem after a challenge from Erik Lamela.

Ivan Rakitić should easily slot into Busquets’s role of holding midfield, with Arthur retaining his place in the first-team after a very impressive performance in the 4-2 victory over Tottenham at Wembley.

But the attack will have a significant revamp, with captain Lionel Messi retaining his place. Luis Suárez had a groin issue after a tackle from Toby Alderweireld, and should be dropped in favour of Munir, whose goal allowed Barcelona to secure a point against Athletic Bilbao.

Philippe Coutinho should also be rested in favour of the return of Ousmane Dembélé, who missed his first game of the season against Tottenham despite scoring a world-class goal in the previous Champions League fixture against PSV Eindhoven.

Next. Arthur comes into his own against Tottenham. dark

But Coutinho could be in line for an appearance off the bench, alongside compatriot and fellow international Malcom. This starting lineup should be strong enough to see off the challenge of Valencia, who lie in 14th place in the league table, with just a single win.