Barcelona possible starting line-up vs Atlético Madrid in LaLiga week 16
Barcelona visit Atlético Madrid in a box-office LaLiga clash on Sunday, as Xavi’s men look to take advantage of Real Madrid’s slip-up at Villarreal.
After title rivals Real Madrid suffered defeat earlier this weekend, Barcelona can go clear at the top of LaLiga in their heavyweight clash with Atlético Madrid on Sunday. Goals by Yeremy Pino and Gerard Moreno earned Villarreal a 2-1 win over Madrid on Saturday, handing Barça the opportunity to open up a three-point lead when they visit the Estadio Cívitas Metrpolitano, in their last game before heading to Saudi Arabia for the Spanish Super Cup.
Alba and Lewandowski banned for Atleti clash
Barça will be without Jordi Alba and Robert Lewandowski in Madrid, with both players serving suspensions. Alba was sent off in last weekend’s draw with Espanyol, while Lewandowski was dismissed against Osasuna in early November - and now finally begins his three-game ban. Barça had managed to have the Pole’s punishment put on hold after lodging an appeal against its length, allowing him to play in the Catalan derby. However, Spain’s Administrative Court for Sport (TAD) has since confirmed the striker’s suspension.
Ansu Fati to spearhead Barça attack?
With Lewandowski unavailable to Barça boss Xavi Hernández, Ansu Fati appears to be best-placed to deputise at No. 9. Indeed, the young Spain international led the line as a substitute in the Blaugrana’s Copa del Rey tie against Intercity in midweek, his extra-time goal earning a 4-3 win.
Having played the full 120 minutes against Intercity, midfielder Sergio Busquets could drop to the bench against Atlético, with Frenkie de Jong coming in for the veteran. In defence, Alejandro Balde can be expected to replace Alba at left-back, while Jules Koundé and Ronald Araújo are also in line to return to a LaLiga line-up for the first time since playing at the World Cup.
In attack, Ousmane Dembélé is another player in contention to make his first league start since the tournament in Qatar.
Possible Barcelona line-up vs Atlético:
Marc-André ter Stegen; Jules Koundé, Andreas Christensen, Ronald Araújo, Alejandro Balde; Gavi, Frenkie de Jong, Pedri; Raphinha, Ansu Fati, Ousmane Dembélé.
Atlético Madrid vs Barcelona: key match info
Atlético Madrid and Barcelona’s LaLiga matchday-16 clash at the Estadio Cívitas Metropolitano kicks off at 9pm local time on Sunday 8 January 2023. In the United States, that’s 3pm ET/12 noon PT. Viewers in the US will be able to watch the game on the streaming service ESPN+, while another online option is fuboTV, which offers a free trial.
You’ll also be able to follow live-text commentary of the match at AS USA. Kieran Quaile will be on hand with all the build-up from around two hours ahead of kick-off, before talking you through the action in the Spanish capital.
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