Dembele to be made to wait

Dembele looks set to be benched against Chelsea. EFE/Archive

Dembele to be made to wait

BeSoccer by BeSoccer @besoccer_com - 1 +12k

Despite Ousmane Dembele's strong performance against Malaga at the weekend it appears that the Frenchman will miss out on a place in the starting lineup against Chelsea at the Camp Nou on Wednesday.

The game at the Rosaleda could prove to be a watershed moment in Dembele's fledgling Barca career. The birth of Lionel Messi's third child opened the door for Dembele to feature from the start against the Andlusians and he responded by putting in arguably his best performance of the season, providing a constant threat.

However, Ernesto Valverde is keen to see more if he is to throw the youngster in at the deep end in a key game, such as the one that Barca face at the Camp Nou on Wednesday.

With a place in the quarter-finals of the Champions League at stake it is no time to take risks, thus the former Athletic Bilbao boss will opt against starting Dembele.

According to Spanish publication 'Marca', Barca will once again line up in a 4-4-2 against the Premier League champions following their brief flirtation with 4-3-3 against Malaga. The only potential change from the first leg is that Andres Iniesta could drop out, though the Spanish international will be given until the 11th hour to prove his fitness. Paulinho, Ivan Rakitic and Sergio Busquets will be the other men to line up in midfield.

Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi will unsurprisingly lead the line, with Messi's return pushing Dembele to the bench. Valverde is keen to field a balanced side against the 'Blues' as Barca look to control the game and avoid being caught cold. 

Should Iniesta fail to make the game, Dembele's chances of featuring will be greatly increased, with Philippe Coutinho ineligible for the Champions League having played for Liverpool earlier in the competition.

However, Andre Gomes is expected to be the man given the nod if Iniesta loses his fitness battle.

Whilst Dembele is going in the right direction to showing his worth to Barca's managerial staff, they need to see the former Borussia Dortmund man continue to develop before he is trusted to play alongside Messi and Suarez in attack.



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