The next Barcelona match is upon us! After two weeks of international break, the Blaugrana open up the Camp Nou doors for a vital La Liga encounter with Rayo Vallecano. Before the national teams went to the pitch, Barça lost to Sevilla, and needs a strong, statement victory against a very good side. And coach Luis Enrique made sure to pick his strongest available squad.
Almost all non-injured players are in the squad, including Adriano Correia, finally cleared from various physical issues. The surprise absence is Thomas Vermaelen, as the Belgian misses Saturday's match per Enrique's decision, even though he was healthy and available for selection. Also out is goalkeeper Jordi Masip. Lionel Messi, Andrés Iniesta and Rafinha Alcântara, are injured and won't play, while Arda Turan and Aleix Vidal are unable to be registered until January.
These are the eighteen men chosen by the coach for today's game:
Goalkeepers: 1. Marc-André ter Stegen, 13. Claudio Bravo
Defenders: 2. Douglas Pereira, 3. Gerard Piqué, 6. Dani Alves, 14. Javier Mascherano, 15. Marc Bartra, 18. Jordi Alba, 21. Adriano Correia, 24. Jérémy Mathieu
Midfielders: 4. Ivan Rakitic, 5. Sergio Busquets, 20. Sergi Roberto, 28. Gerard Gumbau
Forwards: 9. Luis Suárez, 11. Neymar Jr., 17. Munir El-Haddadi, 19. Sandro Ramírez
Projected Starting Lineup (4-3-3):
Bravo; Alves, Piqué, Bartra, Alba; Busquets, Rakitic, Roberto; Munir, Suárez, Neymar
Bench: Stegen; Douglas, Mascherano, Adriano, Mathieu, Gumbau, Sandro
The match starts at 20:30 CET -- you can check out kickoff times around the world and ways to watch it by clicking here --, and you can join us to follow and comment all the action.
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