Predicted XI: Questions over defence as Barcelona put La Liga leadership on the line

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Jordi Alba deletes tweet after sharing article about Hector Bellerin

Barcelona travel to Osasuna on Tuesday night (21:30 CEST), knowing that victory will mean they go into the World Cup as La Liga leaders.

El Sadar is traditionally a tough ask, especially for the big teams and Barcelona only managed a 2-2 draw against Los Rojillo last season. In addition, Osasuna are in good form, sitting fifth in the table currently.

Osasuna will be without loan winger Ez Abde, as Barcelona have inserted a ‘fear clause’, preventing him from playing against them. Meanwhile Xavi Hernandez is missing several key figures in Ronald Araujo, Jules Kounde, Memphis Depay, Sergi Roberto and Franck Kessie.

Sport believe that Andreas Christensen will return to the starting XI for the first time since his injury against Inter in early October. He will partner Eric Garcia, with Alejandro Balde and Jordi Alba continuing at full-back.

Diario AS believe that Gerard Pique will be given a final hurrah in Pamplona, in place of Eric. There is consistency over the midfield trio, although the Madrid daily feel Ferran Torres will begin ahead Raphinha.

Osasuna will likely deploy their usual line-up. with the big question over the front man. In-form Chimy Avila will perhaps be the biggest danger, but whether Kike Garcia gets the nod, as he did against Real Madrid, or Ante Budimir does, will be the key issue for Jagoba Arrasate.

For more on Osasuna, read our interview with Jon Moncayola, expected to start, here.

Source by Football Espana

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