The Barcelona Lineup That Should Start Against Villarreal

Lionel Messi
Barcelona have slipped up in recent weeks in their hunt for the title | David Ramos/Getty Images

With Real Madrid potentially seven points clear at the top of the table by the time Barcelona play on Sunday, the champions simply have to win to have any chance of retaining their La Liga title.

Just to make things harder for La Blaugrana, they face an in-form Villarreal – who will be looking to continue their push for Champions League football.

After a week of back to back draws for Quique Setien’s side, as well as rumours regarding his future and that of star man Lionel Messi, it could potentially be a vital clash in Barça’s season.

With that in mind, 90min looks at how Barcelona should line up in this crucial fixture.

Marc-Andre ter StegenMarc-Andre ter Stegen
Ter Stegen has 12 La Liga clean sheets this season. | David Ramos/Getty Images

Marc-André Ter Stegen (GK): Amid all the turmoil surrounding Camp Nou the German stopper remains arguably the greatest goalkeeper in Europe and the most consistent player in the side. Someone they simply cannot do without.

Sergi Roberto (RB): The Spain international could be in line to earn a recall to the starting XI after coming off the bench against Atlético Madrid. With continued speculation over the future of Nelson Semedo, the door could be open for Roberto to nail down the right-back berth.

Gerard Piqué (CB): One of the most experienced members of the squad, the 33-year-old needs to put his business ventures to one side and concentrate on his football as Barça enter a crucial period of the season.

Clément Lenglet (CB): With injury to Samuel Umtiti limiting defensive options, this centre-back pairing has been a mainstay this season and will almost certainly line up together come kick off.

Jordi Alba (LB): The diminutive full-back may now be 31, but he seems to have lost little of the breathtaking speed that has made him such a force over the last decade.

Sergio BusquetsSergio Busquets
Sergio Busquets has been a mainstay of the Barcelona midfield since 2008 | Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

Sergio Busquets (CDM): Barcelona’s midfield general has again been the glue holding everything together, particularly with new acquisition Frenkie de Jong venturing further forward.

Ivan Rakiti? (CM): While he may have been frequently linked with a move away from the club, the Croatian remains a supremely talented midfielder. The former Sevilla man is likely to play a key role between now and the end of the season, now that Arthur has signed on the Juventus dotted line.

Arturo Vidal (CM): The Chilean midfielder is another who’s been linked with an exit from Camp Nou, yet he’s in line to start once again in this veteran midfield three.

Luis SuarezLuis Suarez
Luis Suarez has scored 13 La Liga goals this season | David Ramos/Getty Images

Lionel Messi (RW): While rumours continue to swirl that the Barcelona captain could jump ship in the near future, he will once again be the focal point of a fierce looking attack.

Luis Suárez (ST): The Uruguayan may not be the devastating force that he was a few years ago, but he still has the quality to unpick any defence – while his partnership with Messi remains one of the most lethal in world football.

Antoine Griezmann (LW): It’s not gone well at all for Antoine Griezmann at Barcelona, a fact that was made all the more clear when he made just a brief cameo against his former club Atlético. While his position may be to blame for his ill fortunes, he need to start delivering quickly – and he could get the nod over Ansu Fati.