Barcelona face Lyon in the last-16 of the Champions League, with coach Ernesto Valverde hoping to return home with a positive result from the first leg.
The two sides meet in France on Tuesday night, with the Catalan giants looking to advance and to put their disappointment from last season behind them after falling short against Roma in the quarter-finals.
In turn, it’s no surprise that Valverde has selected a strong line-up as his side enter a crucial part of the season with huge fixtures coming up.
After Lyon, Barca face a trip to Sevilla this weekend followed by back-to-back meetings with Real Madrid in the Copa del Rey and La Liga respectively.
However, the more immediate focus will be on Lyon, and as seen in the club’s tweet below, the likes of Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Sergio Busquets all start.
The line up hasn’t passed without criticism for Valverde though, as seen in the other tweets below, as many fans have hit out over the decision to leave Philippe Coutinho out.
The Brazilian international has struggled to display his best form so far this season, managing just eight goals and five assists in 34 appearances in all competitions.
With that in mind, there is perhaps an argument in favour of leaving him out, particularly with Barcelona looking to keep things tight away from home, but these fans haven’t seen it that way and have criticised Valverde for leaving Coutinho on the bench.
— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) February 19, 2019
WE WANT COUTINHOOOOO
— Portal Philippe Coutinho (@PortalCoutinho) February 19, 2019
Where is Coutinho
— Jakaria Ahmed (@Jakaria26_) February 19, 2019
Why not put coutinho in midfield
— SAXZYRICHY (@Saxzyrichy) February 19, 2019
Both Roberto and Semedo on the right hardly works. No creativity in the midfield. Coutinho should have started in the middle
— C+H+R+I+S+T+I+A+N (@TheBoyCC) February 19, 2019
Give Coutinho Chance in the midfield he is better than Rakitic and Roberto in the Midfield
— Ebuka_Promise (@Ebuka_Promize) February 19, 2019
Ffs atleast start coutinho our midfield is waaaay to defensive
— Nicolas Eriksson (@niccoponken) February 19, 2019
— ??Ven.Q (@i_quarri) February 19, 2019
Are you serious ?
— Marc Espelando (@MarcEspelando) February 19, 2019
Alena or couthino would have been better instead of Sergi
— ujjwal (@thecrazyycule) February 19, 2019