Predicted Barcelona XI to play Rayo Vallecano

Lionel Messi 2

Barcelona will be hoping to go top of the table when they visit Rayo Vallecano this weekend.

The Spanish side have got off to a fantastic start so far this season, with maximum points and quickly accumulating a goal difference of plus ten.

Their away form is what has tripped them up in the past so it’s important they take this match as seriously as any other despite Rayo Vallecano’s league position.

Here is the side they may go with.

GK – Victor Valdes

Valdes remains the best goalkeeper at the club and they should play him right up until his final game at the end of the season. He’s a great shot stopper and has good command over his back four and penalty area.

RB – Dani Alves

Alves is one of the best in the business when it comes to getting up and down the right flank. He offers extra width and an extra attacking threat going forward but he has plenty of experience which makes him a difficult full back for any defender to get the better of.

CB – Gerard Pique

Pique’s confidence will be sky high at the moment following his performance and goal against Ajax during the week. His all round defensive game is solid and he’s been one of the club’s most consistent defenders in recent years.

CB – Javier Mascherano

Mascherano has been converted into a centre back since he joined Barcelona and he should retain his place. He reads the game well, his timing is superb and he’s an aggressive player.

LB – Adriano

Adriano played in mid-week and did a fine job. There’s not much reason to drop him because he’s competent on the ball going forward and is relatively solid defensively against the counter attack.

RM – Cristian Tello

Tello was on the bench during the Champions League game at Ajax but could come back into the side for this game. It would be harsh on Alexis Sanchez but Tello has looked good in this position so far this season.

CM – Xavi

Xavi played only 20 minutes against Ajax which means he should be slightly fresher. His leadership skills and experience are always well publicised and he’s one of the best midfielders in possession in the world.

CM – Sergio Busquets

Expect to see Busquets playing the holding role in the side. He’ll sit in front of the back four, break up play and tackle before quickly offloading the ball to more creative and attacking players.

CM – Andres Iniesta

Iniesta will be the man who bombs forward to support the attack. He’s arguably the best attacking midfielder at Barcelona and someone who is very difficult to pick up because he can make runs from extremely deep in the pitch.

LM – Neymar

The Brazilian will be asked to create the width out on the left, which is a job he’s more than capable of doing. He will cut inside when Adriano is able to get forward and poses just as big a threat from a central position.

ST – Lionel Messi

Messi will enjoy a free role in the side as always. He’ll play on the shoulder of the defence, he’ll drop into midfield, he’ll stay out wide and cause chaos all the time he’s on the pitch.

Manchester United should monitor Iniesta after he reportedly rejects Barca contract extension.

What do you think? Should Alexis continue down the right?

image: © globalite

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