It's matchday! The right to be called super-champions of Spain starts to be contested today when Barcelona and Athletic Bilbao face each other at San Mamés Stadium to play the first of two legs of the Spanish Supercup. And coach Luis Enrique has already picked his squad for the game.
Following a wild 120-minute game against Sevilla in the UEFA Super Cup, fitness and exhaustion are questions surrounding this group. They were given the day off after Tuesday's match, and did a quicker training session than usual on Thursday, which gives Luis Enrique confidence that his team is ready to go. From the 18 that were in uniform in Tbilisi, only Jérémy Mathieu is out and not traveling to Bilbao. It's unclear if it's a fitness issue or just because he was terrible against the Seville side.
Anyway, this is the 18-man squad for tonight's clash:
Goalkeepers: 1. Marc-André ter Stegen, 13. Claudio Bravo
Defenders: 3. Gerard Piqué, 6. Dani Alves, 14. Javier Mascherano, 15. Marc Bartra, 21. Adriano Correia, 23. Thomas Vermaelen
Midfielders: 4. Ivan Rakitic, 5. Sergio Busquets, 8. Andrés Iniesta, 12. Rafinha Alcântara, 20. Sergi Roberto
Forwards: 7. Pedro Rodríguez, 9. Luis Suárez, 10. Lionel Messi, 16. Sandro Ramírez, 17. Munir El-Haddadi
Predicted Starting Lineup (4-3-3):
Bravo; Alves, Piqué, Mascherano, Adriano; Busquets, Rakitic, Iniesta; Messi, Suárez, Pedro
Bench: Stegen, Bartra, Vermaelen, Roberto, Rafinha, Sandro, Munir
The match starts at 22:00 CET, and you can join us to follow and comment all the action.
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