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Barcelona announce squad for La Liga debut against Alavés

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Ernesto Valverde has called 18 players for the league opener

FC Barcelona v Boca Juniors - Joan Gamper Trophy Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images

The next Barcelona match is upon us! The Blaugrana start their defense of the La Liga title at home against Deportivo Alavés, and Ernesto Valverde has called up 18 players to be in uniform on Saturday night.

This is the full squad:

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

Midfielders: 4. Ivan Rakitic, 5. Sergio Busquets, 7. Philippe Coutinho, 8. Arthur, 12. Rafinha, 20. Sergi Roberto, 22. Arturo Vidal

Forwards: 9. Luis Suárez, 10. Lionel Messi, 11. Ousmane Dembélé, 14. Malcom

With no major injuries in the squad (only Denis Suarez and Carles Aleñá miss out for that reason), Valverde was free to choose the 18 players he will probably select for most of the big games throughout the season. That means Paco Alcácer, Munir, Thomas Vermaelen and Sergi Samper will have to watch from the stands per the manager’s decision.

Predicted starting XI (4-3-3):

Ter Stegen; Roberto, Piqué, Umtiti, Alba; Rakitic, Busquets, Coutinho; Messi, Suárez, Dembélé

The match kicks off on Saturday at 10.15pm CET (Barcelona) / 9.15pm BST/WAT (UK & Nigeria) / 4.15pm ET, 1.15pm PT (USA) / 1.45am IST (India, Sunday), and you can join us to follow and comment all the action.