The next Barcelona match is upon us! The Blaugrana welcome Bayer Leverkusen to Camp Nou today for their second Champions League group stage match. After plenty of bad news lately, the Catalan giants are eager to get a victory and establish themselves as the group favorites. And coach Luis Enrique has already picked his squad for the game.
It's the usual 18-man group that Lucho always picks, but with a few casualties. Lionel Messi and Rafinha Alcântara are long-term absentees, and won't be on the list for a while. Claudio Bravo pushed for a return on Tuesday, but Enrique decided to get him ready for the weekend, and the Chilean will have to wait a few more days to come back. Adriano Correia suffered a knock against Las Palmas, and is out, though his injury is not serious. To finish the list, Thomas Vermaelen, who will return after the international break, is set to miss another game with a calf problem.
With all of those absences, it's hard to find good news. But we have it. Star full-back Jordi Alba is back from a neck problem that kept him out of the last two games, but now he's healthy and ready to go. Barça B's Gerard Gumbau is also on the squad. These are the eighteen men named by Lucho for tonight:
Goalkeepers: 1. Marc-André ter Stegen, 25. Jordi Masip
Defenders: 2. Douglas Pereira, 3. Gerard Piqué, 6. Dani Alves, 14. Javier Mascherano, 15. Marc Bartra, 18. Jordi Alba, 24. Jérémy Mathieu
Midfielders: 4. Ivan Rakitic, 5. Sergio Busquets, 8. Andrés Iniesta, 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):
Stegen; Alves, Piqué, Mathieu, Alba; Busquets, Rakitic, Iniesta; Munir, Suárez, Neymar
Bench: Masip, Douglas, Bartra, Mascherano, Roberto, Gumbau, Sandro
The match starts at 20:45 CET, and you can join us to follow and comment all the action.
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