Barcelona predicted lineup vs Rayo Vallecano

Barcelona will strive to extend their lead at the top of La Liga when they take on Rayo Vallecano on Wednesday.

Real Madrid’s emphatic defeat at Girona on Tuesday will have come as a very welcome surprise to Xavi’s men, who now have the chance to move 14 points clear with victory over a tricky Rayo outfit.

Here’s how the boss could set up.

GK: Marc-Andre ter Stegen – Ter Stegen needs just one more clean sheet to claim La Liga’s season record for his own.

RB: Jules Kounde – Kounde’s deficiencies as a right-back have been very apparent recently, but a lack of alternatives will see the Frenchman start here once more.

CB: Ronald Araujo – Eder Militao, Araujo’s main rival in the battle for the best defender of the season, had an absolute rotter against Girona.

CB: Marcos Alonso – Eric Garcia is well down the pecking order, with left-back Alonso taking his spot centrally.

LB: Alejandro Balde – After an electric start to the season, Balde has dropped off somewhat but his exciting potential is still evident.

DM: Frenkie de Jong – Sergio Busquets is out suspended so expect De Jong to take this role, although Garcia could get another run-out here.

CM: Gavi – Gavi’s midfield energy may be needed if De Jong is being used in a deeper role.

CM: Franck Kessie – Pedri is only just returning from injury and may not be rushed back into the starting lineup just yet.

RW: Raphinha – Transfer rumours continue to swirl around Raphinha, who can bump up his price tag with a strong end to the season.

ST: Robert Lewandowski – This form of Lewandowski is a frustrating one but it feels like just a matter of time before the goals start flowing.

LW: Ferran Torres – Torres’ good form should keep him in the team ahead of Ansu Fati.