As we get closer to Wednesday's big game at Camp Nou, La Liga title contenders Barcelona and Atlético Madrid kicked off their preparations on Monday, and both managers have great news regarding their squads ahead of a giant midweek encounter.
For the second time this season, and for the second consecutive match, Barça boss Luis Enrique has zero injury concerns or suspensions to worry about*. The entire 22-man squad is fully healthy, match fit and available to play, and the Asturian can select the absolute strongest starting team at Camp Nou.
*UPDATE: Samuel Umtiti will not play on Wednesday because of a knee injury. More details here.
That includes goalkeeper Marc-André ter Stegen, who made it through an entire week without any injury issues and will face the Colchoneros. The German's physical condition has been a cause for concern in this young season, but he appears to be completely ready to play every week now. After being rested on Saturday's league victory against Leganés, midfielder Sergio Busquets is also fit and will certainly return to the side to play at Camp Nou.
Predicted Barça lineup (4-3-3, right to left):
Stegen; Roberto, Piqué, Mascherano, Alba; Busquets, Rakitic, Iniesta; Messi, Suárez, Neymar
Diego Simeone is one of the best tacticians on Earth, and he has turned Atlético into a machine prepared to defend against the most potent attacking forces in the world, and he will have his best gameplan ready to face the Blaugrana. He can also be glad to have very little problems in terms of selections. No player was injured or suspended on the weekend victory against Sporting Gijón, so he can use that same squad again.
The only injuries are to reserve goalkeeper Miguel Ángel Moyà, forgotten Italian winger Alessio Cerci and midfielder Tiago, who was once key to the side but isn't as important today thanks to the rise of Saúl Ñíguez. Those players wouldn't face Barça anyway, so their absences won't affect Simeone's plans for the game.
Predicted Atlético lineup (4-1-4-1, R-L):
Oblak; Juanfran, Giménez, Godín, Luís; Gabi; Griezmann, Saúl, Koke, Carrasco; Gameiro