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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.


POSS BAR XI vs. BIL

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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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Liverpool98102171425
2Manchester CityMan City96122992019
3Leicester CityLeicester9522168817
4Chelsea95221914517
5Arsenal94321312115
6Crystal Palace9423810-214
7Tottenham HotspurSpurs93331513212
8Burnley93331211112
9Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd933387112
10Bournemouth93331313012
11West Ham UnitedWest Ham93331113-212
12Aston Villa93241513211
13Wolverhampton WanderersWolves92521212011
14Manchester UnitedMan Utd9243109110
15Everton9315813-510
16Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton9234912-39
17Southampton9225916-78
18Newcastle UnitedNewcastle9225514-98
19Norwich CityNorwich92161021-117
20Watford9045521-164

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