Predicted XI

Griezmann to return? - How Barcelona could line up against Osasuna

The Frenchman could feature in the starting XI on Saturday after the Blaugrana were taken to extra-time by Sevilla in midweek

10:42am on Friday 5th March 2021
Team FC

Barcelona will be looking to keep the pressure on league leaders Atletico Madrid over the weekend as they travel to mid-table Osasuna.

Ronald Koeman's men played 120 minutes in midweek as they recovered from a 2-0 first-leg deficit to defeat Sevilla in the Copa del Rey semi final.

The former Southampton and Everton coach, therefore, may be tempted to rotate his starting XI in order to keep his team fresh, meaning the likes of Antoine Griezmann and Francisco Trincao could earn a recall.

After a slow start to the current campaign, the Blaugrana have come into some impressive recent form. A shock 2-1 loss to Cadiz at the start of December was the last time the Camp Nou outfit suffered defeat in La Liga, and nine wins from their last 10 league outings have closed the gap on Atletico at the top of the table.

At one stage it seemed as though Diego Simeone's side were going to run away with the title, however, their form has been stuttering of late, and Barca are just now just five points adrift of their domestic rivals.

The Catalan giants have shored up their defence of late, keeping consecutive clean sheets in their last two outings. German shot-stopper Marc-Andre ter Stegen is set to keep his place between the sticks then, but who plays in front of the 28-year-old is less certain.

An injury to Gerard Pique has ruled the experienced defender out of this one leaving the centre-back position alongside Clement Lenglet up for grabs. Twenty-one-year-old Oscar Mingueza has asserted himself as a regular in recent weeks and will be hoping to keep his place.

Either side of Lenglet and Mingueza is likely to be Jordi Alba and summer-signing Sergino Dest, who has settled into life in Spain well following a £19m move from Ajax.

With Philippe Coutinho, Sergi Roberto and Miralem Pjanic all out injured, options in midfield for Koeman are limited. World Cup winner Sergio Busquets could be flanked by the youth of Pedri and Frenkie de Jong who will both add some energy and legs into the Barca engine room.

Due to exploits on Wednesday and his poor injury record, Ousmane Dembele is likely to be given a rest for the trip to the El Sadar Stadium, awarding Griezmann and Trincao the chance to partner Lionel Messi in attack.

Barcelona predicted XI against Osasuna

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