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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Pedri of FC Barcelona
BARCELONA, SPAIN – MARCH 15: Pedri of FC Barcelona (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images) /


Left wing back: Jordi Alba

Arguably, Jordi Alba had the most productive and fruitful international break, playing two out of three FIFA World Cup qualifiers for Spain. The Spaniard registered three assists as he shined for the La Roja on his return to the team for the first time since September 2019. Alba’s blistering runs on the left flank have left the cules in awe of the full-back. The 32-year-old will look to carry forward his national team momentum for the Blaugrana against the team from Pucelle.

Central midfield: Sergio Busquets

Sergio Busquets also had a successful outing with the La Roja, featuring in two of their three qualifiers, anchoring the midfield. Busquets will be important as ever to the team, who might have become slow but remains ever-reliable and visionary. With the nature of attacking full-backs, having a technically supreme defensive midfielder in Busquets is a blessing for Barcelona

Central midfield: Ilaix Moriba

This is a surprise pick over Frenkie de Jong but considering the Dutchman played every minute of the Netherlands FIFA World Cup qualifiers. He has been extensively used by Koeman in all competitions, playing 3588 minutes out of a possible 3690. With the Clasico in sight, having a fresh and serrated de Jong becomes very important.

Koeman has shown trust in Ilaix Moriba and the burgeoning youngster has returned with tremendous results. He should be above Miralem Pjanic in the pecking order and deserves another opportunity to showcase his credentials.

Central midfield: Pedri

Popularly known as Barcelona’s crown jewel, Pedri is having the time of his life and surprisingly he’s just getting started. The 18-year-old was called up by Luis Enrique into the senior team and played convincing football in all three qualifiers. Pedri will be hoping to sprinkle gold on the field once again, showcasing his deft passing, brilliant movement and exquisite vision.

Right wing back: Sergino Dest

Sergino Dest did join the USMNT for the single-friendly they had against Northern Ireland and featured for 45 minutes, managing the highest pass accuracy of 90%. To put it simply, the 3-5-2 formation has brought the best out in Dest and his true character has been reflected. The engaging runs with precision dribbling are all that makes the 20-year-old so dangerous. Dest scored a brace in his last game for Barca and will hope to pull off a similar performance against Real Valladolid.