The next Barcelona match is upon us! The Blaugrana are in Morocco for their first competitive match of the new season, the Spanish Supercup against Sevilla. Ernesto Valverde has decided to take his entire squad with him for a nice trip to a beautiful foreign country, which means 27 players are on the trip.
Only 18 can be in uniform for the game, but these are the guys called up by the manager:
Goalkeepers: 1. Marc-André ter Stegen, 13. Jasper Cillessen
Defenders: 2. Nélson Semedo, 3. Gerard Piqué, 15. Clément Lenglet, 18. Jordi Alba, 23. Samuel Umtiti, 24. Thomas Vermaelen, 27. Miranda (Barça B), Marlon Santos
Midfielders: 4. Ivan Raktiic, 5. Sergio Busquets, 6. Denis Suarez, 7. Philippe Coutinho, 8. Arthur, 12. Rafinha Alcântara, 20. Sergi Roberto, 22. Arturo Vidal, 28. Riqui Puig (Barça B), Carles Aleñá, Sergi Samper
Forwards: 9. Luis Suárez, 10. Lionel Messi, 11. Ousmane Dembélé, 14. Malcom, 17. Paco Alcácer, 19. Munir
Okay, there’s a lot to unpack here. First, these are the confirmed absences: Sergi Roberto is suspended (red card against Real Madrid that became a 4-game domestic ban), while Aleñá and Denis Suarez are out due to injury. That cuts the 27-name list down to 24 available players. There are four non-EU players currently in the squad (Malcom, Vidal, Arthur, Marlon), so by rule one of them cannot be part of the match. Since Marlon is the one expected to leave the club this summer, it’s safe to expect he doesn’t make the squad. So we’re left with 23 names. Sergi Samper has just returned from injury, so he’s a no-go. We’re down to 22 guys.
Now it’s up to Valverde. Will he reward Miranda and Riqui Puig for their amazing preseason performances with a spot in the title match? Is it Munir or Paco Alcácer as the fifth forward? Is it Vermaelen or Umtiti as the third central defender? After the coach answers those questions, we’ll finally have the 18-man squad for the Supercup.
Predicted starting XI (4-3-3):
Ter Stegen; Semedo, Piqué, Lenglet, Alba; Rafinha, Busquets, Arthur; Malcom, Messi, Coutinho
The match kicks off at 10pm CET (Barcelona), 9pm BST/WAT (UK & Nigeria), 3pm EST, 12pm PST (USA), 1.30am IST (India, Monday), and you can join us to follow and comment all the action.
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