The Barcelona Lineup That Should Start Against Real Madrid

By Charlie Stewart
Barcelona put Ferencvaros to the sword last time out
Barcelona put Ferencvaros to the sword last time out / Alex Caparros/Getty Images

Barcelona welcome arch-rivals Real Madrid to the Camp Nou this weekend for the first El Clasico of the 2020/21 season.

It's been a mixed start to the season for Ronald Koeman's side. They opened the campaign in fine fashion with dominant victories over Villarreal and Celta Vigo. However, they failed to build on this, picking up just one point from the next two games. Tuesday's comfortable win over Ferencvaros put the Blaugrana back on track, but Real Madrid are a completely different animal.

Philippe Coutinho rounded off an incredible move
Philippe Coutinho rounded off an incredible move / Alex Caparros/Getty Images

Los Blancos have also started in similarly inconsistent fashion. Ten points from their first four La Liga fixtures set them on their way for another title charge. However, recent home defeats to Cadiz and Shakhtar Donetsk put a dampener on things.

A win for the home side will take them above Real Madrid, while the visitors could potentially climb to the top of the table if they take three points back to the Bernabeu.

Here is the lineup that Ronald Koeman could name for the first El Clasico of the season.

1. Goalkeeper and Defenders

Pique was well below his normal standard against Ferencvaros
Pique was well below his normal standard against Ferencvaros / Alex Caparros/Getty Images

Neto (GK) - Marc-Andre ter Stegen is still out of contention, so Neto will keep his place in goal. The Brazilian is set to make his 250th club career appearance.

Sergino Dest (RB) - The teenager has had to fill in at left-back in his first few games at the Catalan giants. However, with Junior Firpo set to return from injury, it could be time for Dest to play in his preferred position.

Gerard Pique (CB) - The long-serving Spaniard had a bit of a nightmare against Ferencvaros, conceding a penalty and receiving a red card. However, his suspension for the game against Juventus on Wednesday means that there is no need to rest him for the upcoming game.

Clement Lenglet (CB) - Lenglet is often a reliable option for the Blaugrana, making 89 appearances in all competitions since joining in 2018.

Junior Firpo (LB) - With Jordi Alba still out injured, Junior Firpo is Barcelona's only available left-back. The Spaniard has featured 24 times for the La Liga side, scoring once.

2. Midfielders

Busquets could be set to return to the starting XI
Busquets could be set to return to the starting XI / DeFodi Images/Getty Images

Sergio Busquets (CM) - Having only played the closing stages of the mid-week Champions League victory, Sergio Busquets could return to the starting lineup. The veteran has made an astonishing 584 appearances for Barcelona.

Frenkie de Jong (CM) - Aside from the final ten against Getafe, the Dutchman has played every minute of the season so far. His brilliant assist for Ansu Fati on Tuesday showed a glimpse of what he's capable of.

Philippe Coutinho (CM) - With the more defensive Busquets and De Jong playing alongside him, Philippe Coutinho has been given far more freedom by Ronald Koeman. This has worked to great effect, as the Brazilian scored and assisted twice so far this season.

3. Forwards

Griezmann needs a good performance
Griezmann needs a good performance / Soccrates Images/Getty Images

Antoine Griezmann (RW) - The World Cup winner will be feeling the heat after Francisco Trincao and Ousmane Dembele put in impressive displays against Ferencvaros. It could be a make or break game for Griezmann.

Lionel Messi (CF) - The six-time Ballon d'Or winner has failed to score from open play in his last eight competitive games. However, he often relishes this occasion, becoming El Clasico's all time top goalscorer and assister.

Ansu Fati (LW) - The youngster's absence against Getafe was noticeable. A goal for Fati could take him to joint-first in the La Liga Golden Boot race.