LA LIGA

Predicted Barcelona Lineup vs Athletic Bilbao

Aiming to make it three La Liga wins on the bounce, Barcelona travel to San Mames to face Athletic Bilbao on Sunday evening.

The Blaugrana smashed Getafe 4-0 at home on Saturday to close the gap to two points on second-placed Girona. Despite conceding a disappointing equaliser to Napoli in the first leg of the Champions League last 16-tie the previous week, they are unbeaten in six and have four wins in that time.

With momentum in their favour, Xavi Hernandez’s boys will be in high spirits heading into the game at Athletic Bilbao, who are fifth in the table and lost their last league game to Real Betis.

Barcelona Team News

Barcelona are set to receive a timely injury boost, with Ferran Torres aiming to return from injury against Athletic Bilbao. A muscle injury sustained against Osasuna has kept the Spaniard on the sidelines for almost a month, but he is expected to be in the travelling squad on Sunday.

Marcos Alonso is also closing in on a return from back surgery, but Gavi and Alejandro Balde are out with injuries until the end of the season.

Predicted Barcelona lineup vs Athletic Bilbao (4-3-3)

Goalkeeper

Marc-Andre ter Stegen kept his first clean sheet in the 4-0 win over Getafe since returning from a long injury layoff. The German will be raring to bag another when Barcelona travel to San Mames on Sunday.

Defence

Barcelona are likely to line up in a 4-3-3 shape once again, with probably just one alteration at the back. Inigo Martinez could come into the starting XI to replace teenager Pau Cubarsi and partner Ronald Araujo in central defence.

Joao Cancelo and Jules Kounde will be the full-back pairing, looking to support the centre-backs as well as make contributions in the final third of the pitch.

Midfield

Andreas Christensen has performed very well as a No.6 in recent games and deserves to keep his place intact in the team. The Dane’s presence should allow Frenkie de Jong and Ilkay Gundogan to flourish as the No.8s and create openings for the forwards.

The aforementioned trio will look to shield the back four and ensure they dominate the proceedings. Pedri and Oriol Romeu, like last weekend, could come off the bench to add more steel and energy to Barcelona’s midfield.

Attack

Wide players Raphinha and Joao Felix scored in the 4-0 demolition of Getafe at home last time out, and Xavi should stick with the duo on Sunday. Completing the Barcelona attack will be none other than Robert Lewandowski, who has 18 goals in all competitions this season. Having failed to score in the last game, the Pole will be desperate to get himself on the scoresheet at San Mames.

Lamine Yamal could make an appearance off the bench along with Ferran Torres.

Rohan Sengupta

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