Predicted Barcelona Lineup To Face Juventus In Champions League
Five-time winners Barcelona will clash against Italian giants Juventus in the first leg of their quarterfinal tie of the UEFA Champions League on Tuesday night at the Juventus Stadium.
Barcelona progressed to the last eight of the competition after mounting a historic comeback against French club Paris Saint-Germain in the Round-of-16. The Catalans were written off after a 4-0 first leg defeat away defeat at Parc Des Princes, but they managed to bounce back with an emphatic 6-1 victory over the Les Parisiens at the Camp Nou, with three of their goals coming after the 88th minute.
However, they will come into the game on the back of a defeat at the hands of Malaga in the La Liga over the weekend and Luis Enrique will be hoping that his team will be able to shake it off and put in a strong performance.
Barcelona will be without their midfield anchorman Sergio Busquets, who is suspended for one match. This will be a bitter blow for the Blaugrana as the Spaniard has been regaining form in the recent weeks. They will also be without Rafinha Alcantara who is out due to a meniscus injury, and Aleix Vidal who has been ruled out for the season. Arda Turan too is unlikely to feature.
Here is how Barcelona could line up against Juventus:
Manager: Luis Enrique
Marc-Andre ter Stegen (GK)
The German shot-stopper has put in far more improved performances compared to last season and has become much more reliable in goal. An undoubted starter.
Sergi Roberto (RB)
The Spaniard came on as a substitute against Malaga, but he will definitely start the game at the right-back position against Juventus.
Gerard Pique (CB)
Missed the Malaga game due to suspension, but will be reinstated to starting XI at the heart of the defence. He will be tasked with keeping Gonzalo Higuain quiet.
Samuel Umtiti (CB)
It will be a toss-up between Umtiti and Javier Mascherano for the second centre-half slot, but we expect the Frenchman to take the field, to deal with the threat of Paulo Dybala.
Jordi Alba (LB)
At left-back it will be Jordi Alba. The Spanish international has been involved sporadically in recent weeks, but remains a trustworthy option ahead of Lucas Digne.
Andre Gomes (CM)
With Sergio Busquets unavailable due to suspension, Enrique will be forced into making a change and it will be summer signing Andre Gomes who will come in.
Ivan Rakitic (CM)
Ahead of Gomes, it will be Ivan Rakitic in the middle of the park. The Croatian international is a key member of the squad for Barca. He will have an important role to play.
Andres Iniesta (CM)
And occupying the third midfield position will be Andres Iniesta. The seasoned pro will have to be on top of his game against Juve if Barcelona are to come out of the tie with a positive result.
Lionel Messi (RW)
The Little Magician has been in superb form in recent weeks and will keep the Juventus defence occupied with his movement and trickery. He will be playing as an inverted winger in the right wing.
The hero of the comeback against PSG, Neymar will be hoping to put in a similar display in Italy and give his team the advantage going into the second leg.
Luis Suarez (ST)
The Uruguayan international has found some nice goal-scoring rhythm recently, but missed out against Malaga. Away goals will be of paramount importance for Barca and they will hope that Suarez delivers.