De Jong, Busi, or both? Will Leo play? 3 vital questions to Valverde ahead of Betis showdown
Barca will have to provide a much better display on Sunday to impress a huge Cules' crowd at Camp Nou for the first time this season.
Messi or no Messi?
The recent updates on the Argentinian's fitness conditions hint that he could be an option for Sunday. However, the most likely scenario will see him appearing in the 2nd half (just when Barca will be trailing to Betis after Valverde's nonsense decisions, huh) after a standing ovation from the home crowd. Just after Leo was injured, Valverde made a firm statement regarding the club's attitude towards these situations: "We won't risk any player, we won't risk Leo in particular."
How Barca's front line will look like then?
Here's a possible option. Antoine Griezmann will likely feature as a complete striker, although he struggled to impress there in Barca's first pre-season tests. Carles Perez will probably get his best opportunity to show what he's worth amid Suarez and Dembele's absence. MOTM vs Bilbao, Rafinha will start the game down the right wing which is not unfamiliar for the player whose future is still up in the air.
Also, recent European U-19 champion Abel Ruiz could make it through to the squad list and provide competition for either Perez or Rafinha.
What's the best role for De Jong?
Although the Dutchman was once again faultless during the last game, Ernesto's decision to put him in Busquets's position was extremely doubtful. Frenkie was decent defensively, however, the team lacked his supportive functions as he couldn't risk roaming from the recommended position. Eventually, Barcelona needed to get more creative during the game as only Ivan Rakitic's emergence helped Barca to improve in this regard.
We expect Valverde to make some quality work on his own errors and place both Busquets and De Jong in the starting XI, with Frenkie playing a bit higher than Sergio.
And what are YOUR expectations ahead of Sunday's encounter? Share your opinion in the comment section down below! 👇