Venue: Nou Camp, Barcelona
Kick-off: 7:30 PM GMT / 02:15 PM EST
Television coverage: Sky Sports 2/HD (UK); beIN Sports en Español, beIN Sports (USA)
The Strongest Possible Lineup for Barcelona against Real Betis
Formation – 4-3-3
Claudio Bravo has been the preferred choice in goal for manager Luis Enrique and the Chilean star has most certainly not disappointed.
With Marc Andre ter-Stegen breathing down his neck though, Bravo cannot afford to get complacent and will be hopeful of keeping a clean sheet against Real Betis.
With Jeremy Mathieu and Thomas Vermaelen struggling, Javier Mascherano has been used as the central defensive partner for Gerard Pique by manager Luis Enrique and given the Argentine international’s fine performances, the duo should continue at the heart of the backline.
Out wide, Dani Alves and Jordi Alba have been in sensational form for Barcelona and there is no reason for Benitez to change things around.
Sergio Busquets has been rated as a slight doubt ahead of the clash but it is expected that the Spanish star will be able to shrug off his niggle and make it in time to start against Real Betis.
Alongside Busquets, the consistent duo of Andres Iniesta and Ivan Rakitic are certain starters and the three midfield stars will surely be looking to create chances for the fantastic attacking lineup ahead of them.
The trio of Luis Suarez, Neymar and Lionel Messi were in scintillating form during the World Club Championships in Japan and it is hard to argue with many people’s claim is the best attacking lineup in world football at the moment.
Suarez, Neymar and Messi are capable of carving apart any defence in the world but Sociedad are solid defensively despite their struggles and the stars are likely to be made to work hard for their goals.
Probable Lineup (4-3-3): Bravo; Dani Alves, Pique, Mascherano, Jordi Alba; Ivan Rakitic, Sergio Busquets, Iniesta; Neymar, Suarez, Messi