?Thursday night pits La Liga leaders Barcelona against relegation candidates Las Palmas in what is expected to be a routine three points for the Catalan club.
With only a three day gap lying between the Las Palmas trip and Sunday’s crucial encounter with Atletico Madrid (?much to Ernesto Valverde’s dismay), it could be likely that the manager decides to ring the changes from the romping 6-1 win over Girona last weekend.
However, let’s pretend that won’t happen, and take a look at the best potential Barcelona lineup ahead of their midweek match…
?Marc-Andre Ter Stegen has become one of the finest goalkeepers in European football over the last couple of seasons, and as Barca’s dedicated league number one, there’s no doubt he’ll be between the sticks on Thursday evening.
?The one problem for the Blaugrana at present is a make shift back line.
With Jordi Alba suspended for one match following his yellow card against Girona, Lucas Digne is likely to fill in for the Spaniard; and on the right flank, Nelson Semedo’s hamstring injury means Sergi Roberto will probably come into the fold over Aleix Vidal.
While Valverde has admitted that Gerard Pique’s injury against Girona was severe, it’s likely that the commanding centre-half will be given a rest against lesser opposition; instead letting youngster Yerry Mina start against a side not expected to cause too much trouble.
?Valverde’s somewhat backwards step in reverting to 4-4-2 this season has worked wonders for his new squad, and it’s likely that Barca will stick to it against Las Palmas.
Ousmane Dembele and Philippe Coutinho are two players relatively new to the team, but both have already proven their worth at Camp Nou this term. Meanwhile, Ivan Rakitic could make way for Andres Iniesta, who was rested at the weekend.
?Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez up top is an obvious choice.
Both players fit perfectly into the ‘world class’ category around Europe, and La Liga’s two leading goalscorers will be desperate to continue their red hot form in front of goal against a side that has been struggling for much of the season.