FC Barcelona

Barcelona predicted lineup vs Real Madrid - La Liga

Max Parsons
Barcelona earned a much-needed three points in the Champions League on Wednesday night
Barcelona earned a much-needed three points in the Champions League on Wednesday night / David Ramos/GettyImages
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Barcelona return to domestic action on Sunday, facing one of the biggest games in world football as they host Real Madrid for the first Clasico of the campaign.

Ronald Koeman's side have endured a desperately bumpy start to their La Liga season while facing a very steep uphill battle to qualify for the knockout phase of the Champions League. La Blaugrana come into the Clasico on a high, however, having this week already seen off Valencia 3-1 before earning a vital three points in Europe with a 1-0 win over Dynamo Kyiv.

They face a completely different test on Sunday, however, hosting a Real Madrid side who have stated the campaign strongly. They sit three points behind La Liga leaders Real Sociedad (having played a game fewer) and come into Sunday's clash off the back of a 5-0 rout at Shakhtar Donetsk.

Here's the side Koeman could send out for El Clasico...

Barcelona predicted lineup vs Real Madrid

1. Goalkeeper & Defenders

Gerard Pique
Gerard Pique got the only goal as Barcelona beat Dynamo Kiev 1-0 on Wednesday / Alex Caparros/GettyImages

Marc-Andre ter Stegen (GK) - So capable of being Barcelona's match-winner, the German will have to be on top form to shut out Real Madrid.

Sergino Dest (RB) - Depending on how Koeman lines up elsewhere on the pitch, Dest could drop back into the right-back position. A very tough afternoon for the USMNT star if that's the case.

Gerard Pique (CB) - Been deserving of criticism this season but had a magnificent game in midweek, defending well and grabbing the winning strike for his side's first Champions League victory of 2021/22.

Eric Garcia (CB) - Clement Lenglet was afforded the opportunity of gaining minutes in midweek, although Garcia could be favoured for El Clasico in first-choice Ronald Araujo's absence.

Jordi Alba (LB) - Has been sensational in Barcelona's two victories this week. Obtained a slight knock to the ankle on Wednesday but Koeman will be desperate to have him fit and ready for the visit of Real.

2. Midfielders

Sergio Busquets
Sergio Busquets hasn't missed a game for Barcelona this season / Alex Caparros/GettyImages

Sergio Busquets (DM) - Those long legs just keep on going. Has captained Barcelona in all of the club's fixtures thus far this campaign and will inevitably do so in what will be his 41st Clasico.

Frenkie de Jong (CM) - Has been somewhat underwhelming of late but can be a game-changing player on his day. Will play a crucial part in the midfield battle on Sunday.

Gavi (CM) - Another youngster enjoying a meteoric rise in Blaugrana colours, 17-year-old Gavi will no doubt be more tenacious, lively and insatiable than ever for his first appearance against Real Madrid.

3. Forwards

Ansu Fati
Barcelona's bright spark Ansu Fati / David Ramos/GettyImages

Philippe Coutinho (RW) - Dest has done well on the right of attack recently although Koeman could opt for Coutinho against Real, having publicly declared his faith in the Brazilian.

Memphis Depay (ST) - Has arguably been the best of a bad bunch throughout Barca's early season dullness and will hope to continue his good La Liga form in his first Clasico.

Ansu Fati (LW) - Has brought an injection of spark and vigour since his return to action and will be key should he find himself on the winning side in El Clasico for the first time.

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