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Official: Barcelona starting XI to face Athletic Bilbao — Umtiti starts over Lenglet



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Ronald Koeman has picked the XI players who will look to get all three points against Athletic Bilbao at the Camp Nou in the hope of leap-frogging Real Madrid, who dropped points against Levante. Big news in as Clement Lenglet has been dropped for Samuel Umtiti, who partners Ronald Araujo in the heart of the defence. Sergi Roberto starts on the bench as Oscar Mingueza takes over the right-back role while Jordi Alba covers from the left. Marc-Andre ter Stegen guards the goal.

Sergio Busquets picked up a suspension during his last outing, and consequently sees Miralem Pjanic come in, potentially starting at defensive midfield. Pedri flanks him to the left while Frenkie de Jong is expected to keep up his goal-scoring streak on the right side of the midfield trio.

Lionel Messi returns to the La Liga after picking a red card and ban against none other than Bilbao themselves. He will lead the line from the middle while Antoine Griezmann and Ousmane Dembele cover the left and right wing respectively.

Confirmed XI: ter Stegen; Mingueza, Araujo, Umtiti, Alba; de Jong, Pjanic, Pedri; Dembele, Messi, Griezmann

Ronald Koeman has chosen the best possible XI for this clash, and choosing Umtiti to start over Lenglet was a big decision and in foresight, probably the right one. The loss in the Spanish Super Cup final is still a fresh wound, so Barcelona, and especially Lionel Messi will be out for blood tonight.

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