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How Barcelona could line up against Villarreal

How Barcelona could line up against Villarreal

Barcelona boss Xavi could hand Ousmane Dembele a start against Villarreal on Saturday, with the Frenchman returning from a hamstring problem against Benfica in the Champions League.

The Catalan outfit will not want to take any unnecessary risks when it comes to the France international, but it is vital that he gets his minutes in his legs, having only featured twice this term.

Dembele’s return is a huge boost for the club, but Sergi Roberto, Pedri, Ansu Fati, Sergio Aguero and Martin Braithwaite are all out of this weekend’s clash with the Yellow Submarine.

Ronald Araujo, who was substituted late on against Benfica last time out, is also a doubt, meaning that there could be a spot at the back for Oscar Mingueza, while Eric Garcia is also pushing to return.

It seems unlikely that either Nico Gonzalez or Gavi will be dropped, though, meaning that the latter could start in an advanced area alongside Memphis Depay and Dembele.

Yusuf Demir is also battling for a spot in the final third of the field, but both Philippe Coutinho and Luuk de Jong are again expected to be on the bench for the Catalan side.

Ilias Akhomach and Abdessamad Ezzalzouli both played in Barcelona’s league win over Espanyol last weekend, meanwhile, and are pushing to be involved once again.

Barcelona possible starting lineup: Ter Stegen; Mingueza, Pique, Garcia, Alba; Nico, Busquets, De Jong; Dembele, Memphis, Gavi

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