Predicted Barcelona starting line-up for the Clasico against Real Madrid

Barcelona's players take part in a training session at the Joan Gamper training ground in Sant Joan Despi in the outskirts of Barcelona on February 29, 2020 on the eve of the Spanish League football match between Real Madrid and Barcelona. (Photo by PAU BARRENA / AFP) (Photo by PAU BARRENA/AFP via Getty Images)
Barcelona's players take part in a training session at the Joan Gamper training ground in Sant Joan Despi in the outskirts of Barcelona on February 29, 2020 on the eve of the Spanish League football match between Real Madrid and Barcelona. (Photo by PAU BARRENA / AFP) (Photo by PAU BARRENA/AFP via Getty Images) /
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BARCELONA, SPAIN – FEBRUARY 02: Goalkeeper Marc Ter Stegen of FC Barcelona (C) defends the ball during the Liga match between FC Barcelona and Levante UD at Camp Nou on February 2, 2020 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Claudio Chaves/Eurasia Sport Images/Getty Images)
BARCELONA, SPAIN – FEBRUARY 02: Goalkeeper Marc Ter Stegen of FC Barcelona (C) defends the ball during the Liga match between FC Barcelona and Levante UD at Camp Nou on February 2, 2020 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Claudio Chaves/Eurasia Sport Images/Getty Images) /

The Barcelona defense has been far-and-away the team’s biggest weakness. When opponents attack, it does not seem to take much for them to create goal scoring opportunities.

The team’s been saved plenty of times by goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen and they will rely on him heavily like they’ve done all season.

Gerard Pique gave the team quite a scare in the Champions League match against Napoli. He landed awkwardly after jumping in the air to clear the ball with a header and twisted his ankle. He had to taken off and was replaced by Clement Lenglet.

Fortunately, it was only a scare and should be good to go. But who will partner him at the back?

Samuel Umtiti played against Napoli but Lenglet started against Eibar. Umtiti has played more under Setién and he does seem to have more trust in him than Valverde. It could also be that Umtiti is finally getting over his knee injury and slowly but surely finding his form again.

As far as the full-backs go, Nelson Semedo is going to start at right-back. Sergi Roberto is still out injured and Semedo is the only natural right-back on the team. He is coming off a decent performance midweek where he gave the assist on the Antoine Griezmann goal.

The safe bet would be to assume that Junior Firpo is starting at left-back despite his poor performance against Napoli and the fact that Jordi Alba is back. Starting Alba would be a risk and would demonstrate the lack of confidence the manager has in Firpo. It’s sink or swim time for Firpo and he has to prove that he is good enough to play for this team.

Expected Barcelona defense:

Goalkeeper: Marc-Andre ter Stegen
Right-back: Nelson Semedo
Center-back (right): Gerard Pique
Center-back (left): Samuel Umtiti
Left-back: Junior Firpo