Who will accompany Busquets and Rakitic in Barcelona's midfield?

Valverde has the odd doubt ahead of Tuesday's game against Lyon

Arturo Vidal, Sergi Roberto & Coutinho are the top three options

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It's the moment of truth in the Champions League for Barcelona and the Catalans don't want any repeats of their bad experiences away from home. 

Jordi Gil


Ernesto Valverde's side kick off the knockout rounds with the idea of being brave against Lyon, playing attacking football and scoring an away goal.

The team's variety in attack will be marked by the presence of Ousmane Dembele. Everything suggests the Frenchman will start after making his comeback in recent games against Athletic Club and Real Valladolid. 

Dembele is ready for the big occasion and will add that unpredictablity which is needed. He will be joined by Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez in attack and Valverde backs them to be efficient. 

Third midfielder

The main doubt comes in midfield. Sergio Busquets and Ivan Rakitic are regulars but there's a question mark over who will be the third midfielder. 

Arturo Vidal has filled that role mostly when Arthur Melo has been injured -- as he is at the moment -- but the Barça coach also has other options, such as Sergi Roberto and even Philippe Coutinho. 

Nelson Semedo could return to the side at right-back to deal with Lyon's quick counter-attacks. That would allow Sergi Roberto to return to midfield and Barça could count on a player who's much more controlled in possession than Vidal. 

Factor Coutinho

The possibility of playing Coutinho in the middle is more remote. Valverde's not used him there since the loss to Leganes in the first half of the season, so it's unlikely he will be the chosen one.

Aleña must wait 

Carles Aleña doesn't seem set to be given the nod to start. Valverde's unlikely to turn to a youngster who has no big game experience in the Champions League. Aleña started against Valladolid and did well but that's another indicator that he will not start for the second game running in the game at the OL Stadium. 



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