The next Barcelona match is upon us. Finally. After a week full of rumors and speculations about the future of coaches and players and the club itself, it's good to have a little football to watch and care about. Barça face Elche in the first leg of the Copa Del Rey's Round of 16, and coach Luis Enrique has already released the squad list for the match.
And there's one last-minute absence. Barça's medical staff confirmed that Xavi Hernández will not play tonight due to a left leg injury. They say it's not serious, but it will keep Xavi from appearing against Elche. The other injury absentee is Thomas Vermaelen, who's still recovering from surgery in his groin.
Per Enrique's decision, Claudio Bravo, Sergio Busquets, Rafinha Alcântara, Douglas Pereira and Jérémy Mathieu will get a day off. Two Barça B players are part of the squad tonight: Sergi Samper and Munir El-Haddadi.
This is the 18-man squad list:
Goalkeepers: 1. Marc-André ter Stegen, 25. Jordi Masip
Defenders: 2. Martín Montoya, 3. Gerard Piqué, 14. Javier Mascherano, 15. Marc Bartra, 18. Jordi Alba, 21. Adriano, 22. Dani Alves
Midfielders: 4. Ivan Rakitic, 8. Andrés Iniesta, 20. Sergi Roberto, 26. Sergi Samper
Forwards: 7. Pedro Rodríguez, 9. Luis Suárez, 10. Lionel Messi, 11. Neymar Jr., 31. Munir El-Haddadi
Expected Starting Lineup (4-3-3):
ter Stegen; Alves, Piqué, Bartra, Adriano; Samper, Roberto, Iniesta; Munir, Messi, Neymar
The game starts at 22:00 CET, and you can follow and comment all the action right here, at Barça Blaugranes.
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