How should Barcelona line up against Sporting?


Barcelona complete their Champions League group stage fixtures on Tuesday night with a visit from Sporting.

Qualification is already assured, so is top spot, and with Villarreal up next in La Liga, it’s probably a good time for Ernesto Valverde to rotate.

However, it’s also worth remembering that Sporting can still finish second if they win and Juventus don’t beat Olympiakos in Greece.

Here’s how they could line up…

Defence

Jasper Cillessen has only been used in the Copa del Rey this season, but this seems an ideal fixture for him to gain some more minutes.

In front of him the right-back spot seems up for grabs, meaning Aleix Vidal could feature with Thomas Vermaelen coming in for the injured Samuel Umtiti at centre-back.

Lucas Digne should feature at left-back, with Jordi Alba given the night off.


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Midfield

Into midfield and there’s no Andres Iniesta so presumably Denis Suarez, who replaced him against Celta Vigo, will again step ino the midfield.

Barca B stars Carles Alena and Oriol Busquets trained with the first-team on Sunday and may have a chance of featuring if Valverde decides to rest Sergio Busquets.

Sergi Roberto could also be restored to midfield, after featuring at right-back since returning from injury.

Ivan Rakitic and Paulinho could also be rested, while Andre Gomes is also an option after recovering from injury.


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Attack

Into attack and Paco Alcacer deserves a start having impressed on the rare occasions he has been used this season.

He could come in for Luis Suarez, particularly as doubts over his fitness and his knee problem remain.

Lionel Messi should also start, there’s an argument for resting him, but this is still a Champions League match and Valverde will want his star man out there.


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Possible starting XI: Cillessen; Vidal, Pique, Vermaelen, Digne: Roberto, Busquets, Denis Suarez, Andre Gomes; Messi, Alcacer.

Who do you think should feature against Sporting? Let us know your thoughts and line-ups in the comments below!



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