Lionel Messi,Arturo Vidal,Arthur Melo

Barcelona vs Espanyol: Ernesto Valverde's Best Available Blaugrana Lineup

Barcelona are back in action on Saturday afternoon, when they welcome Espanyol to the Camp Nou.


The Blaugrana will be eager to win yet another Catalan derby, as well as extending their lead at the top of La Liga. As well as this, they will be aiming to build on from their impressive 16 games unbeaten in the league, as they continue their pursuit for a 26th league title.


Star men Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez should be available for this weekend's derby, as they both return from injury. However Barcelona manager Ernesto Valverde will still be without Ousmane Dembele and Rafinha, who are both unavailable through respective injuries.


Here's our look at Valverde's best available Barcelona lineup for the visit of Espanyol.

1. Goalkeeper and Defenders

Marc-Andre ter Stegen (GK) - Barcelona's first choice should retain his place in goal on Saturday, as he looks to continue his fine form for Barca. Ter Stegen has made 38 appearances this season, keeping a credible 15 clean sheets during the campaign.


Sergi Roberto (RB) - Roberto is set to make his 32nd appearance of the season, as he continues to establish himself as full back. Now 27 years old, the Spaniard has six assists this season, but just one goal from defence.


Gerard Pique (CB) - Pique will sit at the heart of Valverde's defence against Espanyol, as the Catalan defender builds on from his 40 appearances this season. Pique is Barca's fifth highest goalscorer this season, having netted seven times.


Clement Lenglet (CB) - Lenglet should partner up with Pique once again on Saturday, as he forms a formidable defensive partnership with the Spaniard. The Frenchman, who is about to finish his debut season following his move from Sevilla, has played 34 times this season.


Jordi Alba (LB) - Alba should complete Barcelona's solid and consistent back four, as he has done so often this season. The Spanish full back has been in outstanding form as per usual this season, with his remarkable 14 assists only bettered by Messi in the Blaugrana squad.

2. Midfielders

Ivan Rakitic (CM) - With his intelligent style of play and unmatched control of the game, it's no surprise that Rakitic will be crucial to Barca on Saturday. The Swiss-born Croatian international has made the most appearances this season, with 42 outings to his name.


Sergio Busquest (CM) - Busquets will support Rakitic in midfield and control the game alongside his Croatian midfield partner, as he makes his 42nd appearance of the season. The Spaniard is yet to score this season, though his defensive work has been fantastic.


Arthur (CM) - The Brazilian should make up Barca's midfield trio for the visit of Espanyol, as he continues to impress since signing from Gremio last summer. Arthur has excelled at the Camp Nou this season, making 32 appearances under Valverde.

3. Forwards

Lionel Messi (RW) - After recovering from an injury sustained on international duty, Lionel Messi should be back for Barcelona. The Argentine just seems to be getting better and better, with 39 goals and 21 assists in 37 appearances this season - a ridiculous feat for el genio.


Luis Suarez (ST) - Suarez should also be back from injury, having been sidelined for almost two weeks. Barca's Uruguayan talisman has also been in on the goals this season, netting 21 times for the Blaugrana this season.


Philippe Coutinho (LW) - With Dembele still sidelined, Coutinho should complete Barca's attacking trio once again. The Brazilian attacker has been rumoured with a move away from the Camp Nou, with Manchester United linked to the 26-year-old.