Venue: Camp Nou, Barcelona
Kick-off: 7:30 PM GMT / 02:30 PM EST
Television coverage: NOW TV, Sky Sports 4/HD (UK), beIN Sports USA, beIN Sports en Español, beIN SPORTS CONNECT U.S.A. (USA)
Claudio Bravo was handed his expected rest during the second leg encounter against Espanyol in the Copa del Rey on Tuesday night and there is no questioning the fact that the Chilean international will be making a return to the starting lineup in the La Liga clash against Athletic Bilbao on Sunday.
Gerard Pique and Jordi Alba were handed well deserved rests during the midweek Copa del Rey clash against Espanyol and it is fully expected that the duo will be making a return to the starting lineup for the encounter with Athletic on Sunday.
Thomas Vermaelen and Jeremy Mathieu are likely to be the two players making way for Pique and Alba. Javier Mascherano should continue alongside Pique while Dani Alves may be given a day off after featuring for the entire 90 minutes against Espanyol, with Aleix Vidal replacing him.
Arda Turan unsurprisingly continued in the starting lineup against Espanyol and he should do so once again on Sunday. Sergi Roberto has impressed over the last two matches but Sergio Busquets seems certain to replace the young man from the start this weekend.
Ivan Rakitic has also featured for the 90 minutes in consecutive matches over the last two matches and as a result, skipper Andres Iniesta is likely to be coming in for the Croatian international against Athletic.
Luis Suarez and Neymar did not feature during the clash in midweek which means that the duo is certain to return to the starting lineup on Sunday. Despite is two goal heroics against Espanyol, Munir is set to drop down to the bench as ‘World’s Best Player’ Lionel Messi continues to lead the line for Barcelona.
Barcelona Probable Lineup: Bravo; Alba, Pique, Mascherano, Vidal; Turan, Busquets, Iniesta; Suarez, Neymar, Messi