It's finally here! The new season of La Liga has already started, and the road to defend the championship begins this Sunday for Barcelona, when the Blaugrana return to a now familiar San Mamés for a fourth straight domestic encounter with Athletic Bilbao, this time with no trophy at stake.
The week started with plenty of problems for coach Luis Enrique, but as the training sessions progressed, things started to get better for the manager. The defense, without the suspended Gerard Piqué and Jérémy Mathieu, alonside the injured Douglas Pereira and Adriano, looked ultra-weak, but then full-back Jordi Alba was medically cleared from his hamstring strain and is set to debut in the league.
Superstar striker Neymar took part in his first training session on Saturday, but he's not yet fully fit after dealing with mumps for two weeks, so he'll have to wait another week to play again. With a thin first team, Enrique was forced to call some Barça B players, and he chose Gumbau and Cámara to complete his squad.
These is the definitive 18-man group for Sunday's clash:
Goalkeers: 1. Marc-André ter Stegen, 13. Claudio Bravo
Defenders: 6. Dani Alves, 14. Javier Mascherano, 15. Marc Bartra, 18. Jordi Alba, 23. Thomas Vermaelen
Midfielders: 4. Ivan Rakitic, 5. Sergio Busquets, 8. Andrés Iniesta, 12. Rafinha Alcântara, 20. Sergi Roberto, Gerard Gumbau
Forwards: 9. Luis Suárez, 10. Lionel Messi, 16. Sandro Ramírez, 17. Munir El-Haddadi, Juan Cámara
Predicted Starting XI (4-3-3):
Bravo; Alves, Bartra, Mascherano, Alba; Busquets, Rakitic, Iniesta; Messi, Suárez, Rafinha
Bench: Stegen, Vermaelen, Roberto, Gumbau, Sandro, Munir, Cámara
The match is on Sunday, at 18:30 CET, and you can join us to follow and comment all the action.
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