MX23RW : Monday, January 25 09:44:20| >> :60:298:298:
Sep 24, 2019 at 8pm UK at Camp Nou (Barcelona)
Attendance: 70,316

How Barcelona could line up against Villarreal

Sports Mole looks at how Barcelona could line up for Tuesday's La Liga clash with Villarreal at El Madrigal.

Barcelona travel to Villarreal hoping for a better evening than they had at Granada on Saturday, conceding after 65 seconds in a rare La Liga defeat.

Coach Ernesto Valverde's selection decisions have been questioned in the aftermath of the defeat, with Lionel Messi left on the bench and major signing Antoine Griezmann seemingly instructed to play on the wing.

The reigning champions lost 2-0 and are languishing in the early table after taking seven points from their opening five matches, winning twice.

Barca have made their worst start to a season for 25 years and are without an away victory in eight since a win at Alaves in April, losing five of those matches.

Here, Sports Mole looks at how Barca could line up for Tuesday's La Liga match.

Possible BAR XI vs. VIL

Out: Jordi Alba (hamstring), Samuel Umtiti (foot), Ousmane Dembele (hamstring)

> Click here for Barcelona's full injury and suspension list ahead of this match

Versatile left-back Junior Firpo deputised for the injured Jordi Alba against Granada, putting in an unconvincing performance in a defence on the back foot from kickoff.

Culpable for the lightning opening goal, Firpo was replaced by Ansu Fati at half time, and his place could be under immediate threat now.

Winger Carles Perez was also withdrawn at half time, Valverde yielding to temptation by bringing on Messi in an attempt to rescue the game.

Messi and Fati could start against Villarreal, although the loudest question probably concerns where Griezmann will play, having looked marooned and injected little impact on the match from wide.

Ousmane Dembele is not an option, although the forward is not far from returning after a hamstring problem, and classy centre-back Samuel Umtiti will not be available to help improve Barcelona's defence until the end of October because of a foot injury.

Ivan Rakitic has been linked with a move away from Barcelona in January and could find his place taken by Arturo Vidal, who replaced him in the second half at Granada.


Who will win Tuesday's La Liga clash between Barcelona and Villarreal?

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Barcelona's Lionel Messi reacts as Valencia score their second in the Copa del Rey final on May 25, 2019
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1Atletico MadridAtletico1815213682847
2Real Madrid19124334161840
6Real Sociedad2087531181331
8Real Betis208392634-827
9Celta Vigo206682431-724
13Athletic Bilbao186392122-121
16Real Valladolid204882029-920

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