Here comes La Liga! After being crowned Super Champions of Spain earlier this week, Barcelona begin their back-to-back title defense of the Spanish League at Camp Nou against Real Betis. Before the game, there will be a ceremony where the Catalans will lift last season's trophy in front of the crowd. And then, it's time to work (and win).
The fantastic transfer window business ensured coach Luis Enrique he will have a deep squad to work with, which will help his rotation system to keep a strong team for every match. The irony for the La Liga opener is that SEVEN players aren't available: Iniesta, Mathieu, Mascherano and Ter Stegen are injured, André Gomes is suspended for yellow card accumulation from his Valencia days, and the Neymar/Rafinha duo plays the Gold Medal Game in the Olympics on Saturday.
Still, because of depth, Lucho will have a strong squad to choose from, and here's a prediction for the starting lineup at Camp Nou:
Roberto, Piqué, Umtiti, Digne
Rakitic, Busquets, Denis
Messi, Suárez, Arda
There aren't many options to change this lineup for the reasons listed above, so the only real doubt is the full-back position: Roberto, Digne, Aleix Vidal and Jordi Alba are all available and healthy, but Digne should be given the starting spot at left-back after a tremendous preseason. Sergi Roberto appears to be Lucho's favorite at right-back, but Vidal had a good game against Sevilla in midweek and could start again against Betis.
What would be your starting lineup for the game, Blaugranes? Comment away!