Barcelona's 'fabulous four' to take on Atletico Madrid at home

Coutinho, who arrived from Liverpool in January, and Dembele, whose debut season in Spain has been thwarted by fitness problems, are the new additions.

Published: 27th February 2018 10:46 AM  |   Last Updated: 27th February 2018 10:51 AM   |  A+A-

Barcelona's high profile forwards Lio Messi and Ousmane Dembele

By AFP

MADRID: There is an attacking conundrum to be solved too at Barcelona, where Saturday's 6-1 drubbing of Girona thrust into view the 'fabulous four' of Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez, Philippe Coutinho and Ousmane Dembele. 

Coutinho, who arrived from Liverpool in January, and Dembele, whose debut season in Spain has been thwarted by fitness problems, are the new additions. 

They may both be retained against Las Palmas but it remains to be seen whether coach Ernesto Valverde believes he can risk the whole quartet against more established opposition.

Barca host Atletico Madrid on Sunday and then Chelsea in the Champions League next month.

On Coutinho and Dembele, Valverde said: "These are two players who can help us a lot, with different styles. Coutinho can play more in the hole, he is technically comfortable, and Dembele is more of an out-and-out winger."

Barca's chief rivals for the title remain Atletico, who sit seven points adrift, and this weekend's meeting will offer Diego Simeone's side a rare chance to close the gap. 

First, however, they must overcome Leganes and claim an eighth consecutive victory to follow Sunday's emphatic 5-2 win at Sevilla. 

French forward Antoine Griezmann, instrumental as ever, scored a hat-trick. 

"He is very good, an extraordinary footballer," Simeone said after the match.

"Everyone is currently in a brilliant run of form. We played good football and must continue in this way." 

Elsewhere on Wednesday, Valencia, in fourth, visit Athletic Bilbao, and Villarreal, in fifth, travel to eighth-placed Eibar. Sixth-placed Sevilla are away at Malaga.
 



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