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How Barcelona could line up for first game back without Lionel Messi

Sports Mole looks at how Barcelona could line up against Mallorca if Lionel Messi misses out through injury.

Barcelona are due to resume their 2019-20 La Liga campaign with a clash against Mallorca on June 13.

The Spanish champions have not been in action since beating Real Sociedad 1-0 on March 7, with the coronavirus outbreak seeing the majority of football postponed across the globe.

European football is slowly returning, though, and Quique Setien's side, who are currently top of La Liga, are due to continue their season against Mallorca next weekend.

Barca could be without the services of Lionel Messi, though, with the club confirming on Friday that the Argentine was training "in isolation" having picked up "a minor quadriceps injury".

Here, Sports Mole looks at how the Catalan giants could line up for their first game back if Messi is unable to prove his fitness ahead of the contest.


Out: Clement Lenglet (suspension), Ousmane Dembele (hamstring)
Doubtful: Lionel Messi (thigh)

Barca will definitely be without both Clement Lenglet and Ousmane Dembele for the clash with Mallorca. Indeed, the former's booking against Sociedad last time out has ruled the Frenchman out through suspension, while the latter is still recovering from his latest hamstring issue.

Luis Suarez has been declared fit, though, following a lengthy period on the sidelines. The Uruguay international has not played since the start of January after undergoing knee surgery, but he has been given the all-clear to return to action against Mallorca, which is a huge boost for the Spanish champions.

Messi's absence would open up a spot alongside Antoine Griezmann and Suarez in attack, and Ansu Fati could be given the nod. The 17-year-old has scored five times in 24 appearances for Barca this term and has featured off the right despite largely being used as a left-sided attacker.

Setien also has the option of switching to a midfield four and naming Griezmann and Suarez in attack, although the likes of Ivan Rakitic and Arthur have struggled to hold down a regular spot.

Elsewhere, Samuel Umtiti is expected to take Lenglet's spot in central defence, while Sergi Roberto could be given the nod at right-back over Nelson Semedo, who continues to be linked with a move away.

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Barcelona midfielder Arturo Vidal pictured on November 5, 2019
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