MX23RW : Monday, March 25 06:47:44

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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How Barcelona could line up against Real Madrid
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Liverpool31237170185276
2Manchester CityMan City30242479215874
3Tottenham HotspurSpurs30201957322561
4Arsenal30186663392460
5Manchester UnitedMan Utd30177658401858
6Chelsea30176750331757
7Wolverhampton WanderersWolves30128103836244
8Watford30127114244-243
9West Ham UnitedWest Ham31126134146-542
10Leicester CityLeicester31125144043-341
11Everton31117134342140
12Bournemouth31115154356-1338
13Newcastle UnitedNewcastle3198143140-935
14Crystal Palace3096153641-533
15Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton2996143242-1033
16Southampton3079143450-1630
17Burnley3186173559-2430
18Cardiff CityCardiff3084182757-3028
19Fulham3145222970-4117
20Huddersfield TownHuddersfield3135231857-3914

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