Ronald Koeman's options ahead of the Clasico

Ronald Koeman's options ahead of the Clasico

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The Dutch coach is sweating on Jordi Alba's fitness

Barcelona coach Ronald Koeman is working on his plan for the Clasico. He is waiting on the fitness of Jordi Alba, a doubt for the clash after picking up a minor ankle problem against Dynamo Kyiv.

The left back is the big doubt. No surprises or big tactical changes are expected. Retreating to three centre backs from the 4-3-3 would be viewed as a sign of weakness. Also, having two wide forwards can help Barcelona hit Real Madrid in a weak spot.

Eric Garcia and Ansu Fati are expected to come back in. The former was suspended and the latter is not fit enough to start three games in a week.

At right back Ronald Koeman must decide between Sergi Roberto and Oscar Mingueza. The latter is quicker, while Sergi has more experience.

Busquets, De Jong and Gavi seem set to comprise the midfield; it will be the latter's first Clasico.

Up front Sergino Dest is proving a good stand-by for Dembele on the right, while Memphis Depay is a given, with Ansu outside him.

If Alba is not fit, Dest may be used at left back instead. Alba, if needed, will play with painkilling injections.