Frenkie De Jong speaks following Barça 1-0 Valladolid


Ronald Koeman has named his XI that will take on Real Valladolid at the Camp Nou tonight, and surprisingly, both Frenkie de Jong and Lionel Messi start, despite being one yellow card away from missing the El Clasico next weekend. The former is probably going to take position as the centre-back in the back-three, along with Clement Lenglet and Oscar Mingueza.

Sergino Dest and Jordi Alba start as the wing-backs providing width from the midfield, flanking Pedri and Sergio Busquets in central midfield. Pedri will have the chance to move up to join the final third while Busi stays back to help out the backline.

The lineup is rounded off with Ousmane Dembele spearheading the attack, while compatriot Antoine Griezmann occupies space on the left. Lionel Messi will be in a free role, usually drifting left of centre in the hope of creating chances to shoot. Marc-Andre ter Stegen returns to normal duty in goal.

Confirmed XI: Ter Stegen; Mingueza, de Jong, Lenglet; Dest, Busquets, Pedri, Alba; Messi, Griezmann; Dembele

While this certainly looks like a 3-4-2-1, it could very well be a 4-3-3 with Frenkie de Jong as the box-to-box midfielder in the middle. That said, it seems strange that Koeman took the decision to start FdJ at allow with the possibility of the Real Madrid game looming large. On the contrary, this could also be Koeman not risking anything after Atleti dropped points yesterday.



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Lexie Ayers
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