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Combined XI: Barcelona vs. Atletico Madrid

Sports Mole selects its strongest combined XI from the Barcelona and Atletico Madrid squads ahead of Thursday's Supercopa de Espana semi-final.

Barcelona and Atletico Madrid have travelled to Saudi Arabia this week to contest the Supercopa de Espana.

With Real Madrid and Valencia due to do battle in the first semi-final on Wednesday, Barca and Atletico will square off at King Abdullah Sports City on Thursday evening.

The Catalan giants are looking to win the competition for the 14th time in their history, while Atletico have ambitions to prevail for just the third time.

Ernesto Valverde has witnessed his Barcelona team put together a 12-match unbeaten streak, although three of their last four La Liga fixtures have ended in draws.

Meanwhile, after a spell of poor form, Diego Simeone has watched Atletico record four victories in a row, helping them through to the last 16 of the Champions League and to within five points of Barcelona in Spain's top flight.

Here, Sports Mole selects its strongest combined XI from the two squads, using only players available for Thursday's encounter.

Combined XI: BAR vs. ATM

While Marc-Andre ter Stegen is not available due to a knee injury, Atletico's Jan Oblak would have still gotten the nod with us after a strong opening half to the season.

Neither Kieran Trippier nor Sergi Roberto has held down the right-back role at their respective clubs, but the Englishman is preferred due to his crossing ability and threat from set pieces.

On the opposite flank, Jordi Alba is the logical choice, while Gerard Pique and Jose Gimenez take the central positions at the back, despite not necessarily producing their best form this season.

Despite having an array of options to choose from in midfield, selecting Sergio Busquets in a defensive role is a no-brainer, as is giving freedom to Frenkie de Jong in a more advanced role.

Saul Niguez and Thomas Partey both had claims for the final position, with the former getting the nod due to his greater ability going forward.

With Joao Felix and Alvaro Morata at their disposal, Atletico could easily have been represented in the final third.

However, as a result of 31 goals and 17 assists being contributed between Antoine Griezmann, Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez in La Liga this season, we cannot go against Barcelona's established trio in attack.

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Real Madrid's Karim Benzema celebrates scoring their second goal against Espanyol on December 7, 2019
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