Expected line up of FC Barcelona against Atletico Madrid

BARCELONA, SPAIN - MARCH 12: Robert Lewandowski of FC Barcelona looks on during the UEFA Champions League 2023/24 round of 16 second leg match between FC Barcelona and SSC Napoli at Estadi Olimpic Lluis Companys on March 12, 2024 in Barcelona, Spain.
Photo by Eric Alonso/Getty Images

FC Barcelona are set to take on Atletico Madrid in a hotly anticipated matchup. The Catalan giants need to ensure victory to once again overtake their next closest rival. In the event that Barcelona manage a win here, they would reach back up to second place.

While La Liga may look difficult, the Barcelona players continue to believe. Mathematically, the league is still open to be contested and Barça will look to do so.

However, Diego Simeone’s Atletico Madrid will be no walk in the park, so Barcelona will need to be at their best. However, an unexpected casualty in the form of Joao Cancelo is missing from the recently released squad list.

Here is how Xavi’s Barcelona could line up against Atletico Madrid.

Goalkeeper: Marc-Andre Ter Stegen

Without a question, Marc-Andre Ter Stegen will be the one between the sticks for Barcelona against Atletico Madrid. The goalkeeper was immense against Napoli, and will want to keep Atletico Madrid at bay as well.

Left-back: Hector Fort

With Joao Cancelo out of the squad for the clash against Atletico Madrid, it all but guarantees an opportunity to young Hector Fort. While Marcos Alonso is also back from injury, the youngster would be our pick to start for Xavi’s team.

Centre-back: Inigo Martinez

Pau Cubarsi’s surreal rise to the top is unquestionable, but so is his age. The 17-year-old needs a break, and fortunately, Inigo Martinez should be there to take over. With experience and quality, the veteran Spanish defender should be a great choice for Xavi.

Centre-back: Ronald Araujo

Week in and week out, Ronald Araujo remains a cornerstone of the Barcelona defense. Seen as one of the most crucial figures in the club’s future, his presence continues to ignite confidence and certainty. Against Atletico Madrid, the Uruguayan will once again need to be at his best.

Right-back: Jules Kounde

The Frenchman is the best alternative solution Barcelona have found as their right-back. His versatility and composure no matter where he plays, added to his great form, have made Barcelona as impenetrable as they sometimes seem to be.

CDM: Andreas Christensen

In terms of reliable pivots, there is a clear shortage at Barcelona. One man who has still managed to gain some sort of control in that position, however, is Andreas Christensen. His physicality and technical ability will thus be needed to counter Atletico Madrid’s surges as well.

CM: Ilkay Gundogan

The German midfielder will most likely be the veteran in midfield once again. His experience and quality speak for themselves, and his understanding of the game is almost second to none. Given the often compact nature of Diego Simeone’s side, Gundogan will need to be at his best to overcome their strategies.

CM: Fermin Lopez

The first to break apart the Napoli defense at the Montjuic Stadium, Fermin Lopez was a constant menace for the opposition. Against Atletico Madrid, his disruptive runs and style of play could once again provide Barcelona the tools they need to conjure up some magic.

Left-winger: Joao Felix

The hero of the last victory over Atletico Madrid, Joao Felix will be raring to go once more. However, visiting his former home ground will be a tough ordeal, especially with a possibly negative reception awaiting him.

Centre-forward: Robert Lewandowski

A late goal against Napoli from Robert Lewandowski gave comfort once again to Barcelona. Against Atletico Madrid, he will once again aim to be on the scoresheet, and do so much earlier and with much more certainty this time.

Right-winger: Raphinha

Lamine Yamal has been deployed in rather careless fashion in recent games, so some rest is due for him. In his stead, Raphinha should be up for the task against Atletico Madrid, and the Brazilian would have been waiting for his opportunity.

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