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How Barcelona could line up against Rayo Vallecano

How Barcelona could line up against Rayo Vallecano

Ahead of Barcelona’s La Liga trip to Rayo Vallecano on Saturday, Sports Mole looks at how the Spanish champions could line up.

Following a morale-boosting win over Real Madrid in last week’s one-sided El Clasico, Barcelona will now aim to strengthen their grip on top spot when they travel to Rayo Vallecano on Saturday evening.

The reigning Spanish champions saw off their arch-rivals with a 5-1 win at Camp Nou to make it back-to-back league victories for the first time since mid-September.

Ernesto Valverde‘s job now looks a lot safer than it did a fortnight ago, but he will be wary of this weekend’s potential banana skin fixture in the capital.

Here, Sports Mole looks at how the visitors may line up at the Campo de Futbol de Vallecas.

Out: Samuel Umtiti (knee), Thomas Vermaelen (hamstring)
Doubtful: Lionel Messi (arm)

Rafinha has been given a run in the side out on the right of Barca’s front three in the absence of Messi, with Luis Suarez and Philippe Coutinho alongside him.

Valverde will unlikely feel the need to shuffle his pack, especially having been given the chance to heavily rotate for the midweek cup win over Cultural Leonesa.

Ousmane Dembele and Malcom will be pushing for a starting spot, but the one place up for grabs on the right is now seen as Rafinha’s to lose.

Further back, Ivan Rakitic, Sergio Busquets and summer recruit Arthur have clicked into gear in recent weeks and should start again here, while Clement Lenglet – the matchwinner against Leonesa – appears certain to continue his partnership with Gerard Pique in the heart of defence.

Rafinha celebrates with Philippe Coutinho after opening the scoring for Barcelona in their Champions League tie with Inter Milan on October 24, 2018

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