FC Barcelona host 6th-placed Real Betis on the 32nd matchday of the season after a disappointing 2-1 loss to Rayo Vallecano earlier this week. With the Catalans’ still comfortable 11-point lead putting them into a highly advantageous position, it is essential for them to bounce back after a poor run of form and secure the title as soon as possible.
In the goal, Ter Stegen picks up his usual starting spot, and he will look to come closer to a record-breaking Zamora award with a 24th clean sheet against Betis.
The Barcelona defense is only changed in one spot compared to the Rayo clash, with Koundé and Baldé starting on the flanks. Although Christensen just recently came back from injury, due to cautiousness, Xavi chose him over Marcos Alonso and Eric García to pair Ronald Araújo in the heart of the defense.
The midfield consists of the returning Busquets, whose ability to establish control was missed dearly against Rayo, with Frenkie De Jong and Pedri González complementing him in the middle of the field.
Gavi starts on the left side of the attack, in his preferred false winger role. With the overlapping runs of Baldé providing the width, the Golden Boy award winner youngster is free to drift inside, creating an overload in the center of the field.
Of course, Lewandowski starts in the center-forward role, while Raphinha completes the lineup on the right wing. Despite Dembélé returning from injury, he only starts on the bench due to cautiousness, granting the Brazilian the starting spot.
Goalkeeper: Ter Stegen
Defenders: Baldé, Christensen, Araújo, Koundé
Midfielders: De Jong, Busquets, Pedri
Forwards: Gavi, Lewandowski, Raphinha