Joint top of the table, FC Barcelona host third placed SD Huesca at the Camp Nou on Sunday in what should be a routine victory for the Catalan club.
Coming off a somewhat unconvincing 1-0 victory away from home against Real Valladolid, Barcelona will look to make it three wins on the trot against a Huesca side who snatched a 2-2 draw away to Athletic Bilbao on Monday. French forward Ousmane Dembélé was one of the stand out players during Barcelona’s win against Valladolid as he scored the only goal of the match.
Luis Suarez’s form surely has to be a worry for blaugrana fans though as the Uruguayan has not only failed to score in the opening two matches of the season but hasn’t particularly impressed either. Coach Ernesto Valverde still seems to trust the number 9 but a goal can surely do no harm in helping to continue spread the list of goal scorers. Forward Paco Alcacer was recently loaned out to German club Borussia Dourtmind, which means Munir El Haddadi remains as the only other striker available for Ernesto Valverde.
While Suarez will likely start along with captain Lionel Messi and the aforementioned Dembele, the midfield still doesn’t seem to be set in stone. Sergi Roberto, who started in midfield in Barcelona’s opening league match against Alaves, slotted into the right back position against Valladolid. In his spot was Brazilian super star Philip Coutinho who scored in the first match of the season. Whether or not Coutinho will be used in the starting role remains to be seen but Valverde does have several options.
Fellow Brazilian Rafinha seems to have fallen down the pecking order as he has yet to feature in a single league match this season and even failed to make the substitutes bench in the 1-0 win against Real Valladolid. Chilean Arturo Vidal seems to have already earned Valverde’s trust as he has come off the bench in both of Barcelona’s league matches this campaign.
Should Sergi Roberto begin the match with Sergio Busquets and Ivan Rakitic (both of whom appear to be sure starters) in midfield, Nelson would slot in as the right back. Otherwise, we could see Coutinho in midfield with Busquets and Rakitic. In the back, Ter Stegen will remain as the goalkeeper with a World Cup winning center back duo of Samuel Umtiti and Gerard Pique in front of him while Jordi Alba would occupy the left back position.
The two teams last met in 2014 in the Copa del Rey, where Barcelona came away with a 4-0 win which was then followed by an 8-1 thrashing at the Camp Nou. An 8-1 win could be a little difficult to repeat this time around but should the players finally be firing on all cylinders and with the Camp Nou crowd behind them, a 4-0 victory would not be totally out of the question.