Valverde could go back to a 4-4-2 against Atlético Madrid

Valverde could go back to a 4-4-2 against Atlético Madrid

Enric Fontcuberta


Barcelona go into Saturday's crunch LaLiga match convinced that a draw or a win will guarantee they take the title, but Valverde faces various determing factors in his team selection.

Barcelona were back training this morning after the thrilling 4-4 draw in La Cerámica against Villarreal on Tuesday. Valverde's side are now preparing for Saturday's LaLiga match against Atlético Madrid at the Camp Nou and Valverde is set to put out his strongest side for both the match against Simeone's men and on Wednesday at Old Trafford against Manchester United. There will be no rotating.

Valverde missing players for Atlético match

That said, for the game against Atleti, which could finally fully decide LaLiga, Valverde has to cope with a number of determing factors that could force him to change his system and start with a 4-4-2.

The Barça coach can't count on Arturo Vidal for this game after he picked up his fifth yellow against Villarreal and is out suspended. Dembélé is also unavailable as he comes back from injury - he is now training with the group, but his hamstring is not yet ready for competitive action particularly with big European games on the horizon. It also looks like Arthur Melo won't start, after a number of games where his performance has been well below par.

Valverde could move to a 4-4-2

Face with this situation, Valverde could well use a version of the system that worked so well in the second leg against Lyon in the Champions League, or the visit to Betis in LaLiga, and go with a starting 4-4-2, with Semedo as aright back and Sergi Roberto moving up to play in the midfield.

Ter Stegen is a fixture between the posts, while the rest of the defence will once again be led by Gerard Piqué, with Lenglet alongside him. Semedo would be at right back with Alba at left back. If Valverde wanted to rest Lenglet could call on Vermaelen; Umtiti has shown he isn't ready for action as he comes back from injury and will need more time before his next chance.

Busquets will sit in front of the defence, with the rest of the midfield made up of Rakitic, Sergi Roberto on the right and Coutinho on the left. Messi and Suárez will be on duty up front.