FC Barcelona will face Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu on Sunday evening, hoping to pick up a win and maintain their lead in the La Liga points table. Barcelona is coming off a disappointing 3-3 draw with Inter, while the hosts are coming off a 1-1 draw with Shakhtar Donetsk on Tuesday.
Xavi is expected to use a 4-3-3 formation with a couple of changes from the previous game, with Jules Kounde likely to return to the starting lineup.
Marc-Andre ter Stegen is expected to start in goal for the upcoming match. On Sunday, the German goalkeeper would like to put up a strong performance and keep a clean sheet.
Gerard Pique will partner with Eric Garcia at the heart of Barcelona’s defence as they attempt to neutralize Real Madrid’s attacking threats for the duration of the game.
Jules Kounde could start at right back, while Alejandro Balde could take over at left back, replacing Marcos Alonso on the other flank. The full-back will be expected to stay compact and defensively shaped.
Sergio Busquets and Frenkie De Jong are expected to fill the holding midfield positions, with the latter taking on a more central role. Pedri will play as an attacking midfielder. This weekend, the Spain international will be determined to create clear-cut scoring opportunities for the frontmen.
Gavi will have to settle for a spot on the bench, but he could come on late in the game if needed.
Raphinha and maybe Fati will play wide, looking to stretch their side’s attack while also cutting inside when given the space and opportunity. Xavi complained about Dembele’s decision making in the draw with Inter This week so it’s unclear if he will start against Real Madrid. On Sunday, Barcelona will be led by Robert Lewandowski. The Pole striker will be hoping to make the most of his opportunities against a Madrid defence that has conceded four goals in their last three games in all competitions.