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How Barcelona could line up against Athletic Bilbao

Sports Mole looks at how Barcelona could line up in Sunday's La Liga clash with Athletic Bilbao.

Barcelona will be looking to return to winning ways when they travel to Athletic Bilbao in La Liga on Sunday night.

Ernesto Valverde's side have drawn their last two against Valencia and Real Madrid in the league and Copa del Rey respectively, but they will be confident of putting three points on the board when they visit Bilbao.

Barcelona dropped points in La Liga for the first time since the end of November last weekend when Valencia claimed a 2-2 draw at Camp Nou.

However, the table suggests that Valverde's team are still in a strong position. Indeed, they have a six-point lead over second-placed Atletico Madrid, while Real Madrid are eight points behind in third ahead of the latest round of fixtures in Spain's top flight.

Here, Sports Mole takes a look at how Barcelona could line up against Bilbao.


Out: Rafinha (knee), Samuel Umtiti (knee), Jasper Cillessen (muscle), Arthur (hamstring), Jordi Alba (suspended)
Doubtful: Lionel Messi (thigh)

Lionel Messi has been training separately from his teammates this week in a bid to be fit for the clash at San Mames.

A thigh problem meant that the Argentine could only play a small part of Wednesday's clash with Real Madrid in the Copa del Rey, but Valverde is hopeful that he will be able to call upon his star player from the start this weekend.

Samuel Umtiti has returned to light training following a knee injury, but the Frenchman will be unavailable for a few more weeks, while Rafinha and Jasper Cillessen are still on the sidelines.

Jordi Alba will serve a one-match suspension, meanwhile, which should see Nelson Semedo and Sergi Roberto start in the full-back positions.

Ousmane Dembele is also in contention having recovered from an ankle injury and a subsequent fever, but Brazilian midfielder Arthur will spend the next four weeks on the sidelines with a hamstring problem.

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Barcelona's Lionel Messi receives attention on a dead leg on February 2, 2019
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