Barcelona predicted lineup vs Real Valladolid: Lionel Messi starts, Frenkie de Jong rested

Pedri of FC Barcelona (Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images)
Pedri of FC Barcelona (Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images) /
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Manager Ronald Koeman of FC Barcelona (Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images) /

Finally, the long-awaited La Liga action is back after a dreary International break. Barcelona plays Real Valladolid on Monday, hoping to close the gap at the top as title rivals Atletico Madrid lost to Sevilla. With 10 games to go, this three-headed La Liga race will surely go down to the wire.

The last time Real Valladolid travelled to Camp Nou, Ernesto Valverde was still the manager of the club, the South American duo of Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi was intact and untouchable and most importantly, the 8-2 humiliation by the hands of Bayern Munich was never heard of.

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Barcelona goes into this in good spirits, on a league unbeaten run that extends to 18 games. In stark contrast, the Blanquiovioletas have just one win in the last 11 La Liga games and are just lingering above the drop zone in 16th place.

Ronald Koeman is likely to field the team in a 3-5-2. Sergi Roberto and Gerard Pique have returned to training but weren’t match fit hence they have been excluded from the squad. Ansu Fati and Philippe Coutinho remain long term absentees.

Here is the Barcelona predicted lineup:

Goalkeeper: Marc-Andre ter Stegen

Marc-Andre ter Stegen is an undisputed starter for the Blaugrana between the sticks. The German keeper didn’t exactly have a memorable international break as he was in goal when the 2014 FIFA World Cup Champions succumbed to a 2-1 defeat to Macedonia, only their third defeat in the history of FIFA World Cup qualifiers. Ter Stegen will be hoping to keep a clean sheet and spring back with confidence.