FC Barcelona

Barcelona predicted lineup vs Cadiz - La Liga

Max Cooper
Back in the fold
Back in the fold / Quality Sport Images/Getty Images
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If Barcelona's perilous predicament wasn't obvious enough before, it certainly is now.

In desperate search of an equaliser against Granada on Monday, Ronald Koeman resorted to throwing centre-backs Gerard Pique and Ronald Araujo up front, while their teammates swung a stream of crosses into the middle.

This tactical masterclass did the trick, as Araujo's late header snatched a 1-1 draw for the Blaugrana, but Barça supporters were left with little to cheer by the end of a harrowing and humiliating evening. The fall from grace is painful to witness, but the Catalan giants have got to go again on Thursday, when they travel to take on Cadiz.

The hosts earned a win and a draw against their superior visitors last season, and Koeman will know that a similar result this time round would pile even more pressure on him and his waning job security.

An endless list of injuries makes selecting a solid starting lineup extra challenging for the Dutchman, but he must get it spot on against a Cadiz side that will smell blood. So, who should he pick?


1. Goalkeeper & defenders

Marc-Andre ter Stegen
Poorly protected / David Ramos/Getty Images

Marc-Andre ter Stegen (GK) - This is not what he signed up for when he joined Barça. As is often the case, the Blaugrana will rely heavily on their superstar goalkeeper, and Ter Stegen may be kept pretty busy.

Gerard Pique (CB) - Although he played as a centre-forward against Granada, we assume Koeman will return Pique to his usual defensive role against Cadiz - unless they're losing with 15 minutes to go, of course.

Ronald Araujo (CB) - The goalscoring hero in the 1-1 draw on Monday, Araujo's performance was enough to maintain his spot in the backline for Thursday.

Eric Garcia (CB) - We fancy Koeman to go for a back three, given his new love of long ball football and an endless barrage of crosses into the box. Get the big men in the team! Garcia completes our backline.


2. Wing-backs & midfielders

Philippe Coutinho
In the midfield / Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

Sergi Roberto (RWB) - The dependable and versatile Roberto could be asked to fill in on the right-hand side of the defence against Cadiz, having played in midfield in the draw with Granada.

Frenkie de Jong (CM) - It's becoming increasingly difficult for De Jong to express himself and show his potential in this declining Barça team, but they really need him to step up and deliver.

Sergio Busquets (CM) - There's so much responsibility to protect this Barça defence right now, and it all seems to fall on the shoulders of Busquets. This is probably not the level of stress he'd expected to experience in the final knockings of his career...

Philippe Coutinho (CM) - Injury to Pedri means the Spaniard's shoes must be filled, and with Roberto potentially deputising on the right, Coutinho could drop into midfield and act as a link for the forward line.

Sergino Dest (LWB) - With Roberto covering the right flank and injuries to Jordi Alba and Alejandro Balde, Dest (or Roberto) could be moved to the left against Cadiz. Not his natural position, but needs must and all that.


3. Forwards

Memphis Depay
Leading the line / Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

Yusuf Demir (ST) - He's only 18 years old, but Demir is already being asked to make the difference at the highest level. He tends to play out wide, but could become part of a front two on Thursday.

Memphis Depay (ST) - Completing the lineup is Depay, the man who carries the weight of Barça's goal threat on his shoulders. Without the injured or departed Sergio Aguero, Lionel Messi, Antoine Griezmann or even Martin Braithwaite to help him, it could be a tough ask for the Dutchman.


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