Barcelona will want to avenge their early season loss to Real Madrid when they face their El Clasico rivals this weekend.
Ronald Koeman’s side are currently in second place in the La Liga table, just one point behind Atletico Madrid and two points behind Real Madrid.
Los Cules have lost just three of their last 28 matches in all competitions and will see to continue the excellent run, but Koeman must get his team choice right. Here is the lineup he should join for the best chance of three points.
De Jong’s defense has given balance to Barcelona | Alex Caparros / Getty Images
Marc-Andre ter Stegen (GK) – The undisputed goalkeepers at the club, he starts when he is in shape.
Oscar Mingueza (CB) – A young academy prospect, he has become a first team regular and with Gerard Pique he doubts that he will continue in a back three.
Frenkie de Jong (CB) – The Dutch international’s transfer to midfield has given the Barca team great balance and he should continue in that role again.
Clement Lenglet (CB) – First choice in a back four or back three, Lenglet’s ability on the ball helps Barca expand from the back.
The child enjoys a breakout season Alex Caparros / Getty Images
Sergino Dest (RM) – The American has had a good debut season for Los Cules and has shone as a backback in recent weeks.
Sergio Busquets (CM) – The experienced midfielder still has an abundance of quality on the ball and being surrounded by youth and energy helps cover for his lack of athleticism.
Pedri (CM) – The Barcelona team’s breakout star this year, Pedri is a star from the academy who can play several positions but has stood out in the central midfield.
Jordi Alba (LM) – Bombing forward from the left-back position is something Alba has done all his career, so starting a little forward has really done the Spanish international no harm this season.
Messi has not scored in seven El Clasico matches | Alex Caparros / Getty Images
Lionel Messi (RW) – The Barca legend finished a point by scoring or assisting in every league match in 2021 against Valladolid, and will be keen to finish a run on seven El Clasico without a goal to get back on track.
Antoine Griezmann (ST) – Celebrated becoming a father again this week and has scored four in his last six matches, making him a threat to a temporary Madrid defense.
Ousmane Dembele (LW) – Pace, directness, ability to go both ways and a goal threat, Dembele can be a wildcard in this fixture and will fly with confidence after making the winner last time.