Barcelona predicted lineup vs Real Madrid: Lionel Messi starts, Antoine Griezmann on the bench

Lionel Messi of Barcelona (Photo by Mateo Villalba/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images)
Lionel Messi of Barcelona (Photo by Mateo Villalba/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images) /
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And so the two Goliaths of Spanish football meet to boast their supremacy over the other. Real Madrid host Barcelona in La Liga on Saturday as the La Liga race spices up even further. At one point, Atletico Madrid seemed to have one hand on the trophy but a bland second half of the campaign from them has given a golden opportunity for Barcelona and Real Madrid to spring back into the race.

The Blaugrana are a solitary point behind Los Rojiblancos and cannot afford to drop any points against Real Madrid who are their direct rivals in the title race. Barca goes into the game on the back of a narrow 1-0 win over Real Valladolid, which was not one of the best showings from the team.

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On the other hand, Real Madrid put up one of the most dominant displays of their season in the 3-1 win over Liverpool in the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals. However, the tight schedule can have its effects as Real play their third game in a space of seven days.

Barcelona received a huge injury boost as senior defender Gerard Pique and versatile Spaniard Sergi Roberto made a return to the squad. However, the involvement of Pique remains unclear whether the 34-year-old is fit to start. Real Madrid will be without their core centre back pairing of captain Sergio Ramos and Raphael Varane which could heavily swing the momentum in Barcelona’s favour.

However, the Catalans cannot take a game of such importance and intensity lightly and Ronald Koeman will have to come up with plans to negate the strengths of the solid Los Blancos midfield.

Here is the Barcelona predicted lineup against Real Madrid: