Barcelona have gotten back on track after stumbling against Getafe and next up, they take on Real Betis, a team who are just three points behind them.
Barcelona have won 17 of their last 21 matches against Real Betis in all competitions and they are the heavy favourites to win on Sunday as well. They have won three games on the trot and unless a major stumble, they should make it four wins in a row.
Barca will kick off their Champions League campaign next week but because they are playing Antwerp, the manager does not necessarily need to rest any players against Real Betis. Also, FCB are two points behind league leaders Real Madrid so Xavi’s side cannot afford to take their foot off the peddle.
Barcelona’s team news and injuries:
Pedri and Ronald Araujo are the only two players who are ruled out for this weekend’s game but there are some doubts over Ilkay Gundogan’s fitness as well.
The midfielder picked up a knock during international duty for Germany but the injury is not serious. It’s just a bruise which is a big relief for Xavi but that does not necessarily mean that he will be fit to play on Saturday.
“Gundogan has a bruise on his back but nothing is broken,” the player has said, as quoted by 90Min.
If Ilkay Gundogan is not available then there is likely to be a change in formation as the Barcelona manager will bring in a proper No 10. Raphinha will also be back from suspension but there’s a chance Joao Felix is going to get his first start for the club.
Oriol Romeu has been an integral part of the team since returning from Girona so he and De Jong will be the two holding midfielders.
Joao Cancelo should also come into the starting line up replacing Sergi Roberto with Balde playing on the left-hand side of defence.
16-year-old Lamine Yamal became Spain’s youngest goalscorer and debutant during the international break and he will get another start for Barcelona, out on one of the wings.
Barcelona predicted line up vs Real Betis:
Predicted Starting XI(4-2-3-1): Stegen; Balde, Christensen, Kounde, Cancelo; Romeu, De Jong; Joao Felix, Yamal, Gavi; Lewandowski.