FC Barcelona vs Deportivo La Coruna: Predicted lineups
FC Barcelona can feel relatively confident in their chances against Deportivo, who despite traveling quite well this season, haven’t really got the potential to challenge Barcelona on their own turf. Claudio Bravo will begin in goal, and yes, he’s coming up against currently one of the in-form strikers in Spain in the form Lucas Perez – but he’s been in a rather good run of form of late as well. So too has been the defense ahead of him.
Dani Alves is back to his usual best at right-back; Gerard Piqué is on top of his game both on and off the field, and Jordi Alba has been pretty impressive too. There are some question marks around Javier Mascherano, but he’s had some solid games as well – and he might not even start with the team tomorrow either, Jeremy Mathieu’s recovery, associated with the continued presence of both Marc Bartra and Thomas Vermaelen gives Luis Enrique a selection dilemma.
The midfield picks itself; Ivan Rakitić, Sergio Busquets, and Andrés Iniesta. The return of Sergi Roberto is bound to be met with cheers from the Blaugrana fans; he was in quite outstanding form prior to picking up his injury, but it’s debatable whether Lucho will keep him in reserve, later bringing him back into the flow of proper things with a cameo appearance off the bench after the first half.
Oriol Riera will miss out the match through injury, while head manager Victor Sánchez has taken the bold decision to leave attacking talents Fede Cartabia, Celso Borges and Jonas Gutierrez back in A Coruna. Effectively that’s confirmation of what we could have predicted all along; Deportivo will indeed set out to earn a point with a stark and heavily-manned defense and in the firm presence of Lucas Perez they have a player that they should hope can secure them a point (or three), even though it would be against the odds.